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NASA has identified 13 possible sites for a future human moon landing.

rocket hit the moon, El Nacional
Photo: Europa Press- NASA has identified thirteen possible sites for a future human landing on the moon.

By the middle of this decade, NASA has identified thirteen candidate sites for the next human moon landing, with the Artemis program planning to bring a crew to the Earth satellite more than half a century later, plus a landing on the mysterious Moon. South pole.

Each of the thirteen sites designated for the landing of the Artemis III mission, which will carry the first woman and first African-American man to set foot on the Moon, contains “multiple potential lunar landings,” as reported by the US space agency this Friday. sites” and these are less than six degrees from the Moon’s south pole.

“Each region measures about 15 by 15 kilometers,” NASA said in a statement. He added that the candidate landing zones offer options for all potential launch opportunities for the Artemis III, which is likely to take off in 2025.

NASA assesses sites for safe landing

In addition to this flexibility regarding possible launch windows, the scientists chose these regions because they would allow for a safe landing. They took into account “criteria such as the slope of the land, ease of communication with Earth, and lighting conditions,” according to NASA.

“It will differ from previous missions as astronauts will enter dark regions previously unexplored by humans and lay the groundwork for future long-term stays,” said Mark Kirasich, deputy director of NASA’s Artemis Campaign Development Division.

The regions considered are “scientifically important” because of their proximity to the Moon’s south pole. The US space agency has deepened that there are areas on this side that lie in “resource-rich permanent shadows.”

landing sites

Sarah Noble, NASA’s Division of Planetary Science and chief of lunar science for the Artemis program, said most of the sites are “on some of the oldest parts of the Moon.” These regions also provide access to “previously unstudied” material, she said.

Any of these thirteen sites are close to areas where crew members can moonwalk with “limited disturbances.” The crew will also be able to collect samples and conduct scientific analysis in an unobstructed area.

Thus, for example, “important information about the depth, distribution, and composition of water ice confirmed at the Moon’s south pole” will be obtained, NASA deepened.

‘Moon water ice is valuable both scientifically and as a resource. “We can extract oxygen and hydrogen for life support systems and fuel,” said Jacob Bleacher, NASA’s chief exploratory scientist, referring to future lunar bases.

Region selection

The team analyzed data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and scientific publications to select thirteen candidate sites.

Proximity to permanently shaded areas as well as lighting conditions were taken into account in the selection. In this way, the thirteen regions include places with continuous access to sunlight over a period of six and a half days.

“Access to sunlight is essential for a long stay on the Moon,” because it’s an energy source that minimizes temperature variations, according to the agency.

rocket for human transport

Terrain accessibility was determined based on the characteristics of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. Even the features of the Starship rocket developed by the private SpaceX company for human transportation.

In this sense, in the future, NASA will analyze the thirteen regions with the scientific community in general, as well as with SpaceX. With these analyzes, they will be able to confirm the landing capabilities of the spacecraft and evaluate the options accordingly.”

The first step for man’s return to the Moon will be taken on August 29. The unmanned Artemis I mission is expected to take off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida that day.

NASA is preparing a release for the day. special with the participation of actors Jack Black and Chris Evans. They also planned a performance of the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s song “America the Beautiful” conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

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Source: El Nacional



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