Artemis: Humans will return to the Moon in one of these 13 places


NASA has selected 13 regions on the south pole of the Moon for the landing of the Artemis III mission. Humans will return to the Moon in one of these places. The last time humans walked on the moon was in 1972. A few days before the uncrewed liftoff of the first mission of the Artemis program (launch planned for August 29, 2022), NASA is already preparing the sequel. One of the most anticipated missions of this program is undoubtedly Artemis III, the one thanks to which humanity must return to the surface of the Moon. Since 1972, no human has walked on the surface of the Moon. On August 19, the space agency announced that it had selected 13 potential sites, at the star’s south pole, for the landing of the Artemis III mission “Each region contains several potential landing sites for Artemis III,” explains NASA in its press release. All are within 6° latitude of the lunar south pole and have been collectively chosen for the diversity of their geological features. The selection was made based on data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter probe, among others, of the 13 possible lunar landing sites for the Artemis III mission. // Source: Nasa The common point between all these candidate regions is their location very close to the south pole of the Moon. It’s not a coincidence. This area is rich in areas of permanent shade never explored by mankind. In these places, we find “some of the oldest parts of the Moon”, and materials never studied by humans. The mission crew is expected to walk on the surface of the Moon to collect samples and perform analysis. Specifically, NASA wants to know more about the water ice at the Moon’s south pole. What are the 13 lunar regions that could host astronauts? Here are the names of the 13 selected regions: “Faustini Rim A” – the rim of the lunar crater Faustini, almost always in shadow “Peak Near Shackleton” – a peak located near the Shackleton crater, the interior of which is immersed in shadow, while the ridges that border it are exposed to the light. “Connecting Ridge” : This “connecting ridge” is the sunniest place at the South Pole. “Connecting Ridge Extension”, which is close to the previous area. “de Gerlache Rim 1”, corresponding to Gerlache Crater, a horseshoe-shaped crater, located near Shackleton Crater. “de Gerlache Rim 2”, another rim of this crater. “de Gerlache-Kocher Massif”, a massif a little further away. “Haworth”: Haworth Crater, with jagged edges and almost all the Time sinks into darkness “Malapert Massif”: a massif associated with Malapert Crater, also almost permanently submerged in shadow. It is near Haworth Crater. “Leibnitz Beta Plateau”: the Leibnitz crater plateau. “Nobile Rim 1”, one of the rims of Nobile Crater, not far from Faustini Crater. “Nobile Rim 2”, another rim of the Nobile crater I, finally, “Amundsen Rim” – the rim of Admusen, an impact crater. The regions were selected for “their ability to safely accommodate a crew, using criteria such as terrain slope, ease of communication with Earth, and lighting conditions,” NASA describes. It was necessary to consider the different candidate areas, in relation to the potentialities of the different spacecraft that this return to the Moon will entail: the Space Launch System rocket, the Orion ship and the Starship (from SpaceX). The mission of the astronauts on the surface has to last 6 days. In addition, “all 13 regions contain sites that provide continuous access to sunlight for a period of 6.5 days, the expected duration of the Artemis III surface mission,” NASA adds. This insolation is essential to avoid excessive temperature variations and guarantee access to an energy source. There is still work to be done: NASA must now discuss with many scientists to more precisely determine the advantages and disadvantages of each region. . It will also be necessary to confirm with SpaceX that the selected sites correspond to the capabilities of the spacecraft.
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