The US Space Agency “NASA” issued a long report in which it reviewed the multiple scientific missions that will be entrusted to the two astronauts who will be sent to the moon within the nearest 2024.
In principle, the goal is to bring 85 kilograms of samples of various materials taken from the surface of the moon and its depths, noting that the Apollo missions allowed the transfer of 64 kilograms of lunar samples between 1969 and 1972.
“The moon stores a great scientific energy that the two astronauts will help us to benefit from,” said Thomas Zurbuken, deputy director of the agency in charge of scientific affairs, during the presentation of this report, which was prepared by NASA scientists in cooperation with academics.
In the context of the “Artemis 1” mission, the new “heavy” SLS “carrier” missile will test the “Orion” uncrewed capsule onboard in 2021 at the earliest.
Artemis 2 will carry astronauts to orbit around the moon without landing them on it in 2023. Artemis 3 will send two astronauts to the moon’s surface, including the first woman to land on this astronomical body, in 2024 in principle.
The two pioneers will only have 6 and a half days to complete their tasks at the latest, and every minute of their time is counted in the context of this mission, for which 7 scientific goals have been set.
The curators of this report seek to improve the pioneers’ work conditions regarding the “Apollo” missions to help them select the best samples.
Unlike the “Apollo” mission in 1972, the new crew will not include any geologist.
And experts urge “NASA” to provide a broadband video connection so that the two pioneers can benefit from the help of a team of scientists on the ground.
They also recommend the agency develop scientific instruments that are lighter in weight and capable of performing several measurements simultaneously, and they offer the idea of sending scientific tools to the site in advance.
All these steps will pave the way for constructing the “Artemis Main Camp” on the moon, which is expected at the end of the decade, provided that the new US president, Joe Biden, and Congress agree to provide tens of billions of dollars for this project.