Artemis is the preferred name for NASA’s proposed Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), which is expected to land four astronauts at the Moon’s southern pole from 2020 for missions that initially will last up to a week. Artemis was a daughter of Greek god Zeus and is identified with the Greek Moon goddess Selene. NASA sources confirm the name choice. The US space agency released a request for information (RFI) of lunar lander concept studies in May. Participants in the study were asked to refine the LSAM design including descent stage propulsion system packaging, crew cabin layout, airlock design and options for unmanned operation of the LSAM to deploy lunar outpost modules and equipment.

NASA has already named its crew exploration vehicle Orion, and its launcher Ares I. The proposed heavylift cargo booster is being called Ares V. These names have been registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, but the government organisation’s website shows no applications for Artemis to be trademarked by NASA.

Lunar surface access module 
© NASA   

Source: Flight International