NASA highlights science targets for upcoming manned lunar missions

(ORDO NEWS) — The American space agency NASA published a voluminous report yesterday, Monday, which describes the scientific goals facing the astronauts of the Artemis III mission (“Artemis-3”), which the agency plans to land on the lunar surface in 2024.

One of the goals is soil sampling with a total mass of about 85 kilograms, both from the surface and from under the surface of the Moon. For comparison, as a result of the Apollo lunar missions between 1969 and 1972. As a result of one mission, an average of 64 kilograms of lunar soil samples were delivered to Earth.

The Artemis I mission, which will take place by the end of 2021, will include tests of the Space Launch System super-heavy rocket and the Orion unmanned spacecraft.

During the Artemis II mission, a manned flight into orbit around the Moon will take place in 2023, but the mission does not imply a landing on the surface.

The Artemis III mission includes the actual landings of astronauts, including the first woman, on the lunar surface in 2024.

In this 188-page report, NASA sets seven scientific goals for the Artemis III mission, including a deeper understanding of how planetary bodies form.

Astronauts will be on the lunar surface for only 6.5 days, and the report provides valuable information for scientists planning a mission that will help coordinate scientific operations on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite.

Experts’ recommendations include real-time transmission of data and video from the lunar surface to the mission’s scientific team on Earth.

The report also proposes the development of less massive scientific instruments that allow more than one study or measurement of several different parameters.

In addition, NASA is considering the possibility of placing “blanks” of scientific equipment in the vicinity of the landing zone of the astronauts of the Artemis III mission.

NASA’s ultimate goal is to establish a lunar base called Artemis Base Camp by the end of this decade. This ambitious plan could require tens of billions of USD in funding, as well as a green light from President-elect Joe Biden and Congress.


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