It'll only be a "go-and-quit" scenario, just like Apollo.
Sometimes, people complain that the Artemis Project is planning
"just another flags-and-footprints" mission. The confusion might come
from the emphasis on the Reference Mission. We are using the Reference
Mission to analyze the technical, financial, and political issues
associated with establishing a permanent exploration base, but the
Reference Mission is far from being the entire plans or end goal of
The goal of the Artemis Project is to establish a permanent
human presence on the Moon. From the initial infrastructure, humankind
will expand out into the solar system, and beyond throughout the cosmos.
The moon is a vital first step. The resources of the moon make the
rest of it financially viable. Even development in low Earth orbit
will be far less costly with an industrial infrastructure on the moon.
Landing a permanent exploration base in a resource-rich part of the
moon is the vital first step toward establishing a permanent human
presence there. That's what the Reference Mission is all about. It's
not the first flight we expect to make -- we're actively developing
our first robotic lander now -- but this is the mission that links
us to the moon forever. Rather than being the end of the Artemis
Project, the Reference Mission is the beginning.
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