Unlike the Apollo mission that sent astronauts on the moon 50 years ago, NASA is gearing up for a long term presence on Earth’s satellite that the agency says will finally enable humankind to reach Mars.
The next crewed mission to the moon will require leaps in robotic technologies and a plan for NASA to work with private corporations like Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to assist in cutting the cost of area travel.
Using NASA’s Space Launch System, a heavy-lift rocket being constructed for the first flight in late 2020, the agency is aiming to return human beings to the moon by 2024 in a quickened timeline set in March by the US administration.
No humans have launched from the U.S. since the space shuttle mission resulted in 2011.
NASA delegates say exploration of the moon and Mars is intertwined, with the moon turning into a testbed for Mars and providing a possibility to show new technologies that would assist in constructing self-sustaining extraterrestrial results.
Technologies that can mine the moon’s subsurface water ice to sustain astronaut teams, but also to be broken down into oxygen and hydrogen for use as rocket fuel, could be crucial for Mars missions. The planet is reachable in months-long programs when at its closest orbital strategy of 35.8 million miles from Earth.”It’s utilization versus curiosity,” mentioned roboticist and research professor at Carnegie Mellon University William Whittaker, evaluating the Artemis program, as the brand new lunar program has been dubbed, with Apollo.