Artemis: A Horizon Special set to explore NASA’s historic lunar mission

BBC Two and iPlayer are gearing up to broadcast Artemis: A Horizon Special, a unique behind-the-scenes documentary showcasing NASA’s ambitious Artemis mission.

This mission marks humanity’s return to the Moon after over half a century, featuring the first woman and person of colour to set foot on the lunar surface.

The Apollo missions, which were discontinued in 1972 due to high costs and risks, represented the last time humans ventured to the Moon. The Artemis program, named aptly after Apollo’s twin sister in Greek mythology, aims not only to revisit the Moon but to establish a permanent base there as a stepping stone for future Mars exploration. The upcoming Artemis II mission is critical, planning to fly four astronauts to the Moon’s far side and back as a precursor to a lunar landing.

However, the program is facing challenges, with a recent delay pushing the launch to September 2025. This delay highlights the complexity of sending humans beyond Earth’s atmosphere and ensuring their safe return. The mission demands perfection in thousands of components and minimisation of all risks, from equipment failure to space radiation.

The documentary, filmed over 18 months, will follow the astronauts, engineers, and support teams as they prepare for and execute this historic mission. It highlights NASA’s collaboration with international and commercial partners, many of whom are new to human deep space exploration.

The film will also air on NOVA on PBS in the US, with streaming availability on and the PBS App. A broadcast date is to be confirmed.

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