HomeBBC NEWSTechWhy does NASA want to send people to the moon again?

    Why does NASA want to send people to the moon again?


    On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong of the United States became the first man to walk on the moon. This moment is considered to be a defining moment in the progress of human science and technology. between 1969 and 1972, there were six manned lunar landings. However, after 72 years, interest faded, mainly due to the astronomical cost of the Apollo missions.

    The moon landing was also a political statement. It came at the height of the Cold War, when the space race was another frontier in which the Americans and Russians competed. Despite Soviet advances, Armstrong’s iconic moment won the race in the eyes of many.

    Now, however, more than 50 years later, NASA is launching another mission to the moon. Named after Apollo’s sister in Greek mythology, Artemis was officially established in 2017. The first mission, Artemis I, was scheduled to launch on Sept. 3. However, the launch was delayed until late September because NASA engineers failed to stop a dangerous hydrogen leak.

    Once launched, it will be an unmanned orbital space flight designed to test the Orion capsule, where astronauts will reside on a later manned mission. Over the next five years, NASA has a total of four missions planned, and Artemis III will be the first manned lunar landing in five years.

    But why now? And why? With everyone thinking about private space flights and missions to Mars for the past decade, it’s natural to be confused by NASA’s sudden renewed interest in the Moon.

    As we delve into NASA’s reasoning behind Artemis, it’s clear that it was designed with future missions to Mars in mind.

    Just as Artemis 1 was essentially a test flight designed for a future Artemis mission, the program as a whole will serve as a proving ground for a Mars mission. The technology used on the Moon will be used on Mars and will require thorough practical testing to ensure the safety of the astronauts. the main goal of Artemis is to establish a continuous presence on the Moon to help future missions to Mars.

    Although Artemis 1 will be unmanned, it will carry three mannequins – one male and two females. These will be made of materials that mimic our human bones, soft tissues and organs. It will be equipped with sensors to study the effects of space radiation on these mannequins. Slowly, the goal is to send astronauts to the moon for a longer period of time.

    The two female mannequins also reflect NASA’s new commitment to send women and people of color to the moon.

    Infographic: TBS

    NASA not only wants to test existing technologies, they want to set off a wave of more technological innovation. Just as the space race pushed American and Russian scientists to advance their science and technology, they hope it will inspire a new generation.

    Many of the appropriately named “spin-off” technologies we still use today – from flight technology to the way we build earthquake-resistant buildings – have their roots in NASA’s research on the Apollo program. s research.

    The Crescent missions are not just a testing ground for future lunar exploration; our understanding of the Moon is far more advanced than it was 50 years ago. Discovering that the Moon is not the lifeless, barren rock we previously thought it was has certainly changed some of Artemis’ mission parameters.

    Since the late 2000s, there has been a new interest in finding water on the surface. Initial tests did find evidence, as did NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the LCROSS mission. Water ice was found in shadowed areas of the surface where it was said to be too cold for water to evaporate.

    A breakthrough was made by the SOFIA mission, which confirmed the presence of water even in the sunlit regions of the Moon. While we don’t know how feasible this is, it could be a game changer for astronauts

    So what does this discovery mean for NASA? For one thing, NASA plans to build the proposed base camp at the Moon’s south pole, an area near the permanently shadowed region where scientists have found water ice. If water is indeed available, it could significantly reduce the cost of future missions from Earth to the lunar base. NASA’s ambitious plan is to build a base large enough to sustain a mission for up to two months.

    The Artemis program was launched at a time of renewed human interest in space travel. A return to the Moon seems essential in order to realize our ambition to reach Mars and beyond.

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