NASA is attempting its most ambitious space mission to date. But is its ‘woke’ exterior shielding a grab at galactic dominance?
In Greek mythology, Apollo has a twin sister, Artemis; while he’s the god of the sun, Artemis is the goddess of the moon. In keeping with the era of wokeness, NASA’s Space Launch System named its new test flight spaceship after her, 53 years after the successful launch of Apollo 11.
Artemis I—attached to the Orion spacecraft where astronauts will live—was supposed to leave Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Monday morning and spend the following 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 didn’t produce enough flow rate to reach the temperature necessary for launch. If the crew manages to repair the rocket, Artemis will try following her brother’s footsteps again early next month. But this time around, the launch’s purpose won’t be to win a race—rather, it’s to gauge the possibility of extending society into a greater galaxy.
The plan is to conduct a test run to ensure Artemis’s safety before sending astronauts to explore the unknown universe. If all goes well, the crew—which includes several women and people of color—will step foot on the moon around 2025. That’s one small step for diversity, one giant leap for ending patriarchal, white-centric mankind! Artemis’s proposed destination is within the moon’s South Pole region, where ice—which has never seen the sun—can be found inside cracks and craters. NASA hopes to build a permanent lunar base there, as well, to investigate the possibility of moving human life to Mars. This base will provide new avenues for in-depth exploration of space, and could serve as a pitstop for further celestial journeys.
“Artemis is diverse, sure. It’s attempting to shield itself from criticism through gender and racial representation, co-opting a somewhat irrelevant struggle to divert attention from its more questionable goals.”
Although this may sound very WALL-E-esque, today’s worldly practices—such as deforestation, overconsumption, and burning fossil fuels—are going to destroy our current environment. If things don’t change, it will soon be necessary for society to find an alternative habitat. Sending astronauts on rocket ships will, without a doubt, lead to scientific and geographic discoveries. The new knowledge they gain will probably lead to advances in technology, too. Yet, the intentions behind this national project become conspicuous when private endeavors, created by the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, are occurring at the same time: There’s money to be made, and uncharted territory to claim.
When thinking about lunar colonization, it’s relevant to look back to the work of Trevor Paglen. In 2018, the American artist launched his own reflective, nonfunctional satellite into low Earth orbit. His Orbital Reflector sought to “encourage all of us to look up at the night sky with a renewed sense of 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 stated, “The more time you spend looking at how outer space actually works, the more you come to understand that space has become the domain of the world’s most powerful militaries—a platform for surveillance and warfare.”
The reality is that America is using NASA to extend its global dominance into space. Artemis is diverse, sure. It’s attempting to shield itself from criticism through gender and racial representation, co-opting a somewhat irrelevant struggle to divert attention from its more questionable goals. Rather than focusing on climate change, which was caused by capitalist tenets, those same tenets are now being adopted to find us a new home to destroy.