NASA will travel to the far side of the moon for the first time in preparation for sending the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface in 2024.
The American Space Agency announced On Thursday, it selected three new payloads for science research that will land in the region to learn more about the potential astronaut destination.
The other side, or dark side, of the moon has not been explored by China’s Chang’e 4 mission until 2019, and NASA is looking to learn more before placing human boots in the region.
The charges will study lunar vortices, seismicity, and the heat flow and electrical conductivity of the interior in the Schrödinger Basin.
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NASA will go to the far side of the moon for the first time in preparation to send the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface in 2024
The far side of the moon remained untouched until two years ago, but China only landed a vehicle in the region — no people.
NASA, if the missions are successful, will be the first space agency to land humans on the far side of the moon.
It plans to send at least two deliveries to the moon ahead of the manned Artemis mission, the first of which will begin this year — though it’s not clear when the new experiments will ship.
One of the selections, Lunar Vertex, is a combination lander and rover that will land in Reiner Gamma – one of the most distinctive and enigmatic natural features on the moon, known as a lunar vortex.
The other side, or dark side, of the moon has only been explored by China’s Chang’e 4 mission in 2019 and NASA wants to learn more before placing human boots in the region (artist impression)
Scientists don’t fully understand what lunar vortices are or how they form, but they do know that they are closely related to anomalies related to the moon’s magnetic field.
The Lunar Vertex rover will make detailed surface measurements of the magnetic field using a built-in magnetometer.
Magnetic field data from the lunar surface that the rover collects will enhance the data the spacecraft collects in orbit around the moon and help scientists better understand how these mysterious lunar vortices form and evolve, as well as provide greater insight into the interior and surface of the moon. the core of the moon.
The Schrödinger Basin is another planned destination, an impact crater 198 miles in diameter.
The Farside Seismic Suite will be delivered there, including two seismometers to capture NASA’s first seismic data from the far side of the moon.
The US space agency announced Thursday that it has selected three new payloads for science research that will land in the region to learn more about the potential astronaut destination.
The charges will study lunar vortices, seismicity and the heat flow and electrical conductivity of the interior in the Schrödinger Basin
This data could be vital to understanding how often these regions are hit by small meteorites and to better understand tectonic activity to better prepare for humans on the moon.
The Lunar Interior Temperature and Materials Suite (LITMS), the other payload going to the Schrödinger Basin, is a suite of two instruments: the Lunar Instrumentation for Thermal Exploration with Rapidity pneumatic drill and the Lunar Magnetotelluric Sounder.
This payload suite will examine the heat flow and electrical conductivity of the lunar interior in the Schrödinger Basin and provide an in-depth understanding of the lunar internal mechanical and heat flow.
LITMS data will also complement the seismic data obtained by the FSS to provide a more complete picture of the near and deep underground of the far side of the Moon.
“These studies demonstrate the power of CLPS to deliver big science in small packages, providing access to the lunar surface to achieve high-priority science goals for the moon,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division.
“When scientists analyze this new data alongside lunar samples returned from Apollo and data from our many orbital missions, they will expand our knowledge of the lunar surface and interior and increase our understanding of crucial phenomena such as space weathering to inform future manned missions to the moon.” and further.’
The far side of the moon — popularly known as the dark side — actually gets just as much light as the near side, but always faces away from Earth.
This region was first sighted in 1959, when the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 returned the first images.
In 1968, astronauts aboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft were the first people to see the other side in person as they circled the moon.
And since then, several missions from NASA and other space agencies have imaged the far side of the moon.
That includes NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft, which in 2008 imaged the other side from a distance of 50 million miles.
This relatively unexplored region is mountainous and rugged, making a successful landing much harder to achieve — but NASA hopes to be the first to drop humans in the region by 2024.
NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis mission
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the moon in Greek mythology.
NASA has chosen her to personify the path back to the moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 — including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an unmanned flight that will provide a foundation for human exploration of deep space and demonstrate our commitment and capacity to extend human existence to the moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of a mission of about three weeks.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This image explains the different stages of the mission
Orion will stay in space longer than any other astronaut ship has done without docking in a space station and returning home faster and hotter than ever before.
With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space, where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations further from Earth, including Mars.
They take the crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with people on board.
The SLS rocket will go from an initial configuration that can send more than 26 tons to the moon to a final configuration that can send at least 45 tons.
Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging needs of crew and cargo missions in deep space.
Ultimately, NASA aims to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.
The space agency hopes this colony will discover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advances and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.