Will SLS be used for Artemis 3 as planned?

Artemis 3 ... is planned as the first crewed Moon landing mission of the Artemis program [Wikipedia]

Eric Berger recently wrote a column in which he quoted an unnamed industry insider as saying about Artemis 3, "it may happen in 2028, but I'm not sure it will be on SLS".

Will Artemis 3 launch humans to the moon with SLS?

If Artemis 3 is cancelled or is not a crewed launch atop SLS, this will resolve NO, unless a substantially similiar mission replaces it using a crewed SLS.

(If Artemis 2 is canceled or is not a crewed SLS checkout, most probably this will resolve NO early, unless there is reason to assume Artemis 3 is still on track)

Close date updated to 2028-01-01 6:59 pm

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sold Ṁ27 YES

Since this question may involve judgement calls, I’m divesting from the market (at a loss).

To clarify:

If SLS is used to launch Orion into low Earth orbit how will this resolve?

@JoshuaWilkes Good question. Rereading what I wrote above, I see both "crewed launch atop SLS" and "launch humans to the moon" as well as the "as planned" clause in the title. Taking all of that together I'm inclined to say that SLS needs to both launch Orion (with humans aboard), AND perform the trans-lunar-injection (with humans aboard), in order for this to resolve YES.

If NASA adds a new mission to the Artemis manifest after Artemis II that doesn’t involve sending humans to the Moon on an SLS, but that mission is called something other than “Artemis III” (like the “Artemis IIS” mentioned in this article), how would that affect the resolution of this market?


@sesquipedalianThaumaturge That's a tough one! I don't love the idea of this market turning into a bet on the semantics of whether they choose to call it 3 or 2S. And if they change the mission, who cares if they change the name too. So that inclines me towards saying it's YES either way. But on the other hand, if it truly is a "bonus mission" inserted into the timeline, and the existing Artemis 3 launches as planned, then you could argue that it should resolve NO (maybe even if the bonus mission was called Artemis 3).

I'm very open to suggestions for firm resolution criteria here. In some sense, I think what we are looking to capture is whether Artemis 3 has changed plans, or if another mission has just been inserted in the interim time between 2 and 3. Maybe the naming really isn't the worst way to determine that? Again, very open to sugestions.

@YaakovSaxon I think the problem is that some people will surely have been betting on whether SLS is used for the third Artemis mission, and it doesn't seem fair to them to say that am Artemis 2.5 doesn't count.

But tbh I don't think NASA would do that!

@JoshuaWilkes I’m not certain if I understand you. I assume that an Artemis 2.5 would only happen if it was going to be an architecture that would (if we choose to resolve on that basis) resolve NO. Is that what you meant? That people are betting NO because they think SLS won’t be used (at least for TLI, as per my answer above) and it would be unfair to say that a 2.5 doesn’t count towards that NO?

Or are you contemplating a scenario where 2.5 uses SLS for launch and TLI and then 3 does not use SLS, and saying it would be unfair to the YES bettors to not count 2.5?

@YaakovSaxon I’m starting to think this is all over complicating things and the most natural solution is to say that the question is asking about Artemis 3.

2.5 != 3. 3 == 3.

So if 3 is still on track when a 2.5 happens then this question waits for 3 to happen (or be cancelled and resolve NO early) to resolve. Only if 3 has been cancelled when 2.5 happens, then if 2.5 is substantially similar, it inherits the question, as per the original description.

@YaakovSaxon Ok I think I’ve just now figured out what you mean. The question is whether “Artemis 3” most naturally refers to a mission _called_ Artemis 3, or to the third Artemis mission…

@YaakovSaxon Personally, I feel like the interesting question this market captures is "will the first human lunar landing of the Artemis program rely on an SLS rocket to get the astronauts onto a translunar trajectory", and corner cases should be resolved in the direction of that criterion. But I realize that's not necessarily the resolution criterion that people have been trading on the basis of.


I am running out of mana to bet this market down

For anyone interested, here's some further discussion of the piece between Eric Berger and Tim Dodd (of Everyday Astronaut) in his prelaunch commentary for Artemis 1