The main challenges of returning to the Moon with the Artemis mission

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The United States is about to launch the first mission of its return program to the Moon, Artemis. But what are the interests of this return to our satellite, almost 50 years after the last human visit in December 1972? For the US space agency, the Moon is a necessity before a trip to Mars. These are their main arguments for this new mission since Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA wants to develop a sustainable human presence on the Moon, with missions lasting several weeks, compared to just a few days for Apollo The goal: to better understand how to prepare for a multi-year round trip to Mars.>> Also read: Artemis mission to open new chapter in space explorationRadiation protectionIn the deep space, space radiation is more intense and represents a real threat to health. The low orbit, where the International Space Station (ISS) evolves, is partially protected by the Earth’s magnetic field, which is not the case of the Moon. Since the first Artemisa mission, many experiments are planned to study the impact of this radiation on the living. organisms, or to evaluate the effectiveness of an anti-radiation jacket.>> Review the August 2019 19:30 topic on the effects of ionizing rays affecting the health of astronauts in space. / 19:30 / 2 min. / August 6, 2019 >> Read about: Microgravity and radiation affect the health of astronauts Exploitation of resources in place Also, while the ISS can often be resupplied, trips to the Moon (situated 1000 times farther) are much more complex. To avoid having to transport everything, and thus reduce costs, NASA wants to learn how to use the resources present on the surface. In particular, water in the form of ice, whose existence has been confirmed at the south pole of the Moon, and which could be transformed into fuel (water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen, used by rockets) . Test of new technologies NASA also wants to test the technologies on the Moon that will allow it to evolve on Mars. First up, new spacesuits for spaceship departures. Its design was commissioned to the company Axiom Space for the first mission that will land on the Moon, no later than 2025. Other needs: vehicles (pressurized or not) for the astronauts to move around, as well as housing. sustainable access to a source of energy, NASA is working on the development of portable nuclear fission systems.>> Read about it: Nuclear reactors on the Moon by 2030 The solution to any problem that arises will be easier to the Moon, only a few days of travel, than Mars, which can only be reached in a few months at least Station in orbit of the Moon Another component of the Artemis program is the construction of a space station in orbit around the Moon, called Gateway, which will serve as a relief before the journey to Mars, all the necessary equipment can be sent there in “several launches”, before the crew finally comes together to get going, he explains. Sean Fuller, head of the Gateway program, told AFP. A bit like “going to the gas station to check that we have everything”. External content This external content cannot be displayed as it may use cookies. To view this content you must allow cookies. Authorize Cookies Space Geopolitics Aside from Mars, another reason Americans come up with to settle on the Moon is to do it… before the Chinese, the United States and Russia, the big competitor today it’s Beijing China plans to send humans to the moon by 2030. “We don’t want China to go there and say ‘this is our territory,'” NASA chief Bill Nelson said on television in late August. >> Read also: They are moles. will the resources be privatized? Lunar samples. Finally, even if the Apollo missions brought to Earth nearly 400 kilos of lunar rock, new samples will allow us to deepen our knowledge of this star and its formation. “The samples collected during Apollo have changed our view of the solar system,” astronaut Jessica Meir told AFP. “And that will continue with Artemis.” Thanks to the investments and scientific enthusiasm generated by these new missions, it also foresees concrete benefits on Earth (technologies, engineering, etc.), as in the time of Apollo.>> To reproduce lunar conditions, the ESA is testing its equipment on Etna The European Space Agency is testing its robots on Etna, before sending them to the Moon. / 19:30 / 2 min. / July 1, 2022 afp/cab
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