The Artemis Program is a United States-led international human spaceflight program. It was launched in 2017 to return humans to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole region, in the mid-2020s (the initial goal was 2024).[ If successful, it will be the first crewed lunar mission since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.
The Artemis Program formally began in December 2017 under the Trump administration, with its initial focus including commercial mining of the Moon. Its stated goal is landing the first woman on the Moon; long-term objectives include establishing an expedition team and a sustainable presence on the Moon, laying the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy, and eventually sending humans to Mars.
The Artemis Program is carried out predominantly by NASA and contracted U.S. commercial spaceflight companies, with international partners including the space agencies of Europe, Luxembourg, Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates,Ukraine, Brazil, South Korea and New Zealand. While NASA is leading the effort, it anticipates other nations playing a key role, with the eponymous Artemis Accords opened for signature since October 2020 for governments to participate.
In February 2021, the succeeding Biden administration officially endorsed the Artemis Program. In April 2021, NASA contracted SpaceX to develop, manufacture, and fly two lunar missions with the Starship HLS lunar lander.