NASA’s Artemis Program, named after Greek mythology’s goddess of the moon, has trailblazing ambitions: a woman will step on the lunar surface for the first time. National Geographic just announced a collaboration with NASA to chronicle these historic missions across its storytelling platforms. The highlight of this coverage will be a special event television series called Return to the Moon. The series will be produced for National Geographic by Lightbox. For Lightbox, Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn and Suzanne Lavery are executive producers, with Jerry Rothwell as series director. For National Geographic, Simon Raikes is executive producer.
Fifty years ago, during the Apollo missions, there were no women in NASA’s Astronaut Corps. Today, 16 female astronauts are part of NASA’s 48-strong active Astronaut Corps, and women are represented across the Artemis Generation at the highest level. The series will represent the breadth of individuals involved in sending the first woman to the moon, following the astronauts who are candidates for the missions, as well as the architects, launch directors, designers and more.
Return to the Moon will track the Artemis program right up to the moment NASA lands the first woman and the next man on the moon. Viewers will get a rare behind the scenes look, bringing them on a once-in-a-generation journey and introducing them to Artemis’ key players. Shooting across four years, from now until the lunar landing launch, Return to the Moon will follow the full progress of the mission, through Artemis I’s orbit of the moon, Artemis II’s crewed flight around the Moon and ultimately Artemis III’s lunar landings and return to Earth.
According to executive producers Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, “Return to the Moon has an astonishing human drama at its heart: a new and diverse generation of astronauts preparing to embark on the most extraordinary journey of their lives. By bringing our feature documentary background and sensibility to their stories, our focus will be on the intimate and often high-stakes emotional moments that no-one else will capture as the spotlight of the world falls on this pioneering endeavor, which will include the first woman stepping onto the lunar surface. We are thrilled to be working with NASA and National Geographic to bring this epic story to a global audience.”
Courteney Monroe, President, Content, National Geographic adds, “For more than 130 years, National Geographic has created a legacy of bringing landmark stories and achievements to world audiences. With extensive access to this history-making mission, we can once again inspire the world with a story of courage, imagination, passion and self-sacrifice through the eyes and the hearts of the Artemis team.”
Director Jerry Rothwell stated, “I hope that by following the journey of the first woman to step on the moon, more than 50 years after the first Apollo landing, this series will inspire a new generation of young people to dream without limits. We’re excited for the Artemis Generation.”
Currently there are no specifics on the series such as when it will air and where it will be available for viewing. However, I for one look forward to experiencing the next step in space exploration even if it is from the comfort of my living room.
Featured Image courtesy of NASA