NASA is attempting its most ambitious space mission yet. But does her “woke” exterior secure a grip on galactic domination?
In Greek mythology, Apollo has a twin sister, Artemis; while he is the sun god, Artemis is the moon goddess. In keeping with the Age of Awakening, NASA’s Space Launch System named its new test flight spacecraft after it, 53 years after the successful launch of Apollo 11.
Artemis I – attached to the Orion spacecraft where the astronauts will live – was due to leave Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday morning and spend the next 42 days flying 40,000 miles past the moon before returning to Earth. It was to be the most ambitious space mission to date, but one of the RS-25 engines failed. To be exact, it was not producing enough flow to reach the temperature needed for launch. If the crew manages to fix the rocket, Artemis will try again to follow in his brother’s footsteps early next month. But this time, the purpose of the launch will not be to win a race, but rather to assess the possibility of expanding the company into a larger galaxy.
The plan is to perform a test to ensure the safety of Artemis before sending astronauts to explore the unknown universe. If all goes well, the crew – which includes several women and people of color – will set foot on the moon around 2025. It’s one small step for diversity, one giant leap to end patriarchal humanity and centered on whites! The destination proposed by Artemis is in the South Pole region of the moon, where ice – which has never seen the sun – is found inside cracks and craters. NASA also hopes to build a permanent moon base there to study the possibility of moving human life to Mars. This base will open new avenues for in-depth exploration of space and could serve as a stopping point for other celestial journeys.
“Artemis is diverse, of course. It attempts to insulate itself from criticism through the depiction of gender and race, co-opting a somewhat irrelevant struggle to distract from its more questionable goals.
Although it may seem very WALL-E-esque, today’s mundane practices – such as deforestation, overconsumption and the burning of fossil fuels – will destroy our current environment. If things don’t change, society will soon have to find an alternative habitat. Sending astronauts on rockets will undoubtedly lead to scientific and geographical discoveries. The new knowledge they acquire will likely lead to technological advancements as well. Yet the intentions behind this national project become apparent when private companies, created by the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, happen at the same time: there is money to be made and uncharted territory to claim.
When we think of lunar colonization, it is relevant to return to the work of Trevor Paglen. In 2018, the American artist launched his own reflective, non-functional satellite into low Earth orbit. His Orbital reflector sought to “encourage us all to gaze upon the night sky with renewed wonder, to consider our place in the universe, and to reimagine how we live together on this planet”. In response to critics, who claimed the artwork was an empty gesture interfering with astronomers, he said: “The more time you spend looking at how outer space actually works, the closer you come to it. to understand that space has become the most powerful domain for armies – a platform for surveillance and warfare.
The reality is that America is using NASA to expand its global dominance in space. Artemis is diverse, of course. It attempts to shield itself from criticism through sexual and racial portrayal, co-opting a somewhat irrelevant struggle to distract from its more questionable goals. Rather than focusing on climate change, which was caused by capitalist principles, those same principles are now being embraced to find us a new home to destroy.