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NASA lists 13 candidate landing sites for Artemis-3 manned mission

Candidate landing sites for Artemis-3
Click for original image.

NASA yesterday revealed its first preliminary list of thirteen candidate landing sites for the Artemis-3 manned mission, the first manned mission the agency wants to send to the Moon in 2026.

The image to the right, reduced, enhanced, and annotated by me to post here, shows these thirteen zones in blue. I have added the red dot to mark what I understand to be the planned landing zone of Viper, an unmanned rover that NASA hopes to launch by ’23 at the latest. From the press release:

The team identified regions that can fulfill the moonwalk objective by ensuring proximity to permanently shadowed regions, and also factored in other lighting conditions. All 13 regions contain sites that provide continuous access to sunlight throughout a 6.5-day period – the planned duration of the Artemis III surface mission. Access to sunlight is critical for a long-term stay at the Moon because it provides a power source and minimizes temperature variations.

Note that this mission will land a Starship with crew at this South Pole region. That spacecraft’s large payload capacity likely means that it could conceivably leave behind supplementary supplies for a follow-up next mission, and thus speed up development of the first lunar base.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • sippin_bourbon




    Some assembly required.

    Order is key.

    They should wait to make sure the first one gets off the ground, before announcing these things.

  • sippin_bourbon: NASA management is playing a very clever PR game. They are pumping up the lunar landing, one way or the other. If SLS fails (very likely and something that NASA management is well aware of), they can use that PR to push for Starship/Superheavy to replace SLS and keep that lunar mission (and program) alive.

    In other words, they are looking past SLS. Very wise.

  • J Fincannon

    Is this really 13 candidate landing sites? No, they never say that.

    Each landing region is 9.3 miles by 9.3 miles in area. Given 13 such regions, that is ~1100 square miles. So, they never gave a “landing site” (latitude and longitude).

    But they also listed in the press release “a landing site is a location within those regions with an approximate 328-foot (100-meter) radius.” So, if we base the definition solely on that area of that radius, you end up with pi*100meter^2=31415square meters=.031415 square kilometers=.0121 square miles for a landing site.

    1100 square miles regional area/.0121 square miles per landing site=~90000 landing sites.

  • Jeff Wright

    The lunar South Pole itself should be the site. Put an upward facing bullseye camera there.

  • GaryMike

    The first to the water hole, with the biggest well-aimed rocks, wins.

  • wayne

    Hitchcock Explains the “McGuffin”

  • sippin_bourbon


    Best use of the McGuffin is in the film Ronin, by Frankenheimer with Jean Reno and Deniro, Skarsgard, and a few other big names.
    Even a small role with Sean Bean (and he does not die).

    Love that film.

  • wayne

    Thanks for that!

    Reference– The Impending Moon Landing….
    Excuse if I haven’t been paying close attention– nobody really thinks we’re actually physically going to the Moon in 2026, do they?

  • wayne

    Paul Whiteman Orchestra
    Peggy Healy on Vocals
    “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (1933 )

    “It’s a Barnum and Bailey world, Just as phony as it can be,
    But it wouldn’t be make-believe.
    If you believed in me…”

  • sippin_bourbon


    I totally caught the reference.

    Oh yeah, we are totally going to the moon by 20XX…

  • wayne

    Ralph Kramden
    “One of these days, Alice….”
    (Futurama Parody– Honeymooners)

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