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The Artemis Program was a CCR (Conlegium Caelum Romanum) spaceflight endeavor that succeeded in both landing a man on the Moon and establishing the first Lunar Base on its surface. Conceived at the climax of the Second World War, it was originally just an attempt to get a man into space, but Emperor Sulla II extended it in August of 1940 to include a mission to the Moon.
The emperor's goal was accomplished during the Luna VI mission on July 2, 1946 with the landing of five cosmonauts in Adrian's Crater near the Lunar North Pole. All subsequent missions to the Moon performed by the Romans were thus part of the Artemis Program, that is until it was considered completed in 1961 with both the completion of the electromagnetic return system and the Prometheus Spaceship. Since that first fateful mission, humans have been continuously living on celestial bodies with their populations now reaching well over 5 million.
Before the historic landing of Luna VI, four unmanned landers and one unmanned probe visited the Moon, the former four actually arriving on its surface. It was these missions that made possible the immensely successful sixth mission, allowing for a base to have been built at the very same time man first arrived on the Moon. Those missions alone cost, in OTL 2010, $230 billion US, not including various third-party research costs of course.
The Artemis Program set several major milestones in space flight, particularly when taking into account its subsidiary, the Archimedes Program. It included the first Roman in space; first space flight, both manned and unmanned, beyond Low-Earth orbit; the first manned and unmanned spacecraft to orbit another celestial body; first man on the Moon; first settlement on another celestial body than Earth; and first re-usable space shuttle launch, among other achievements as well.
The entire Artemis Program, and the CCR itself, were the brain child of Adrianus Orilla Stultus, a scientist for Project Aetna. In 1911, he published theories on space travel, rocket propulsion and the likelihood of surviving in outer space. Though he refined his idea over a decade, it was largely neglected in the years before the Project's climax. Nevertheless, four years after he accomplished his goal as Lead Engineer of the jet engine, Adrianus proposed his plan for a Roman space program. Emperor Sulla II immediately promised him a 12 million Dn grant for his research, placing him as the lead in a 20 man team of scientists and engineers.
The outbreak of the Second World War, far from cutting back funding, increased it a hundredfold as the Global Powers wanted to use his research to build intercontinental ballistic missiles for military purposes. Leading a new team of more than five hundred, and with virtually unlimited means at his disposal, Adrianus was prepared to realize the first step in his dream of spaceflight. Testament to how close he was to success before the outbreak of the war, the program's goal was accomplished in less than a year, and by December 1931, his invention had already leveled an entire city.
Pleased at the success of the delivery system, and not the least bit disheartened from its use, Adrianus, before the bomb had even gone off, had gotten enough funding from the Senate to found the Roman Space Agency, or Conlegium Caelum Romanum, in December 1931. At the very same time, the Artemis Program was founded.