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Who is Artemis? NASA’s new lunar mission is named



Boston (USA): Artemis I will send an unmanned rocket to travel around the “Moon” for a month. The program aims to increase women’s participation in space exploration – 30% of its engineers are women. Additionally, the Artemis Eye mission will carry two mannequins designed to study the effects of radiation on women’s bodies so NASA can learn how to better protect female astronauts. Currently, female astronauts are less likely to be selected for missions than males because their bodies do not meet the maximum radiation limit allowed by NASA. NASA expects the first woman and black man to be sent to the Moon on Artemis III after 2024.

As a specialist in Greek mythology, I find the name of the mission quite evocative: the Greeks and Romans associated Artemis with the moon, and she has also become a feminist symbol of modern times. Artemis was a major goddess of ancient Greece, worshiped at least as early as the first millennium BCE or even earlier. She was the daughter of Zeus, the chief god of the Olympians, who ruled the world from the top of Mount Olympus. She was also the twin sister of Apollo, the god of the sun and the oracle.

NASA will make another ‘Moon Rocket’ launch attempt on Saturday, again preparing to send humans to the moon

Artemis was a virgin goddess of the forest and the hunt. Her independence and strength have long inspired women in a wide range of pursuits. For example, in a poem titled “Artemis”, author Allison Eir Jenks writes with a focus on female independence and empowerment: “I am now your godmother…your cook, your bus stop , your doctor, your not a junk-dragster.” As the goddess of animals and the forest, Artemis has also inspired environmental conservation programs, in which the goddess is seen as an example of a woman exercising her power by caring for the planet. .

The Greek Artemis was strong and brave

However, while the Greek Artemis was strong and courageous, she was not always kind and caring, even to women. However, this aspect of the goddess has faded over time. With the rise of feminism, Artemis has become a symbol of female power and autonomy. NASA has a long history of naming its missions after mythological characters. In the early 1950s, many rockets and launch systems were named after Greek sky gods, such as Atlas and Saturn, whose Greek name is Kronos.

Even though the titans were known for their immense power

Atlas and Saturn weren’t just gods, they were Titans. In Greek mythology, the Titans represent the indomitable and primeval forces of nature, and thus invoke the singular vastness of space exploration. Although the Titans are known for their immense power, they were also rebellious and dangerous and were eventually defeated by the Olympians, who in Greek mythology represent civilization. After the advent of manned spaceflight, NASA began naming the mission after the children of Zeus associated with the sky. The Mercury program, active from 1958 to 1963, was named after the Roman equivalent of Hermes, the angel god, who flies between Olympus, Earth and Hades with his winged sandals.

Castor and Pollux were named after the twin sons of Zeus.

Beginning in 1963, the three-year Gemini program included a capsule designed for two astronauts and named after the twin sons of Zeus – Castor and Pollux, known in Greek as Dioscuri – who was chosen as Gemini in the stars. In Greek and Roman art, he was always depicted with a star on his head. The space shuttle program, which ran from 1981 to 2011, moved away from mythical monikers, and the names Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavor were meant to create a sense of innovation.

A more diverse era of human spaceflight will begin.

With Artemis, NASA returns to the Apollo program, which ran from 1963 to 1972 and sent humans to the Moon in 1969. More than 50 years later, Artemis will continue this tradition where its twin brother left off. , ushering in a more diverse era of human spaceflight.

Keywords: moon, NASA, Rocket