Who is Artemis? NASA's latest mission to the Moon is named after an ancient lunar goddess turned feminist icon

Artemis I will send a rocket without a crew on a monthlong journey around the Moon. The program aims to increase women’s participation in space exploration – 30% of its engineers are women. In addition, the Artemis I mission will carry two mannequins designed to study the effects of radiation on women’s bodies so that NASA can learn how to protect female astronauts better.

Female astronauts are currently less likely to be selected for missions than men because their bodies tend to hit NASA’s maximum acceptable threshold of radiation earlier. NASA expects to bring the first woman and person of color to the Moon on Artemis III sometime after 2024.

As a scholar of Greek mythology, I find the name of the mission quite evocative: The Greeks and Romans associated Artemis with the Moon, and she has also become a modern-day feminist icon.