The Illinois Space Tech Academy is an open-source space technology resource created by the Illinois Space Grant Consortium, with support from NASA. This course aims to increase the foundational knowledge base of undergraduate students and anyone interested in NASA Artemis-related science and technology. Four modules within this course are a more in-depth look at the Space Technology Mission Directorate thrusts of GO, LAND, LIVE, and EXPLORE.

How does this course work?

  • Begin with the thrust (module) you prefer.
  • Watch the videos, read the available text, and take a few notes (not required).
  • Check your understanding with the questions at the bottom of each thrust page.
  • Take the assessment and pass with an 80% mastery to receive your digital badge. (The assessments may be retaken as often as needed).
  • Complete all four thrusts to receive the course digital badge.

What is Artemis?

The Artemis missions will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon, using new technologies to explore the moon and prepare for the next giant leap of sending the first astronauts to Mars.  Full information can be found here – What is Artemis? | NASA

Space Technology Mission Directorate

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is developing the technologies that will drive the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Find out more about STMD.

Mark McDonald, Former Chief Architect for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters, talks about Artemis and an overview of the four STMD thrusts – GO, LIVE, LAND, and EXPLORE

See Mark’s biography here.

Why the Moon?

Establishing a base on the Moon is the preliminary step before Mars, which is the ultimate goal for space exploration.

Why go to space?

Dr. Michael Lembeck explains the importance of space exploration.

Learn more about Dr. Lembeck here.

Please Note: Transcripts are only available on the Illinois Space Tech Academy videos. These videos also have closed captioning available in English and Spanish.

Select a module to begin!

Check Your Understanding

Q1 : In what year was the first human mission to the Moon?
Q2 : Which of the following is the only human spacecraft capable of deep space travel?
Q3 : What is Gateway’s purpose?
Q4 : What is the maximum crew capacity of the Orion capsule?
Q5 : Why is the Artemis mission going to the poles of the Moon?