45 days on the surface of the moon. NASA presents manned mission plans

Despite the ongoing and increasing pandemic coronavirus, the American space agency is still developing its plans for a manned return to the moon. Now NASA has revealed how it sees the future presence of man on the surface of the Silver Globe.

In a report prepared for the National Space Council , NASA representatives proposed a comprehensive plan of transition from the level of short space missions that we remember 50 years ago to the level of space missions of the 21st century, in which astronauts will build infrastructure on the moon that will allow subsequent crews to stay for a much longer area and conducting research on a larger area.

According to the authors of the report, on the surface of the moon you need:

  • LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle) - a vehicle that allows astronauts to move around the landing site,
  • a mobile residential platform that would enable the organization of even 45-day trips to further regions of the Silver Globe,
  • a surface habitat that will provide space for four crew members during shorter stays on the moon.

According to plans, astronauts working on the surface of the moon, in addition to conducting research, could constantly test advanced technical solutions such as tools for the use of naturally occurring resources (oxygen, water). Developing them on an ongoing basis can significantly accelerate the development of technologies that enable the production of fuel, water and / or oxygen from lunar matter, which in turn will allow the base to be maintained on the moon without the need for frequent deliveries from Earth.

Unlike Apollo, astronauts participating in Artemis will be able to use the Gateway station, which will be in orbit. The small manned station will be the center of surface expedition control and will be a temporary home and office for astronauts carrying out lunar missions. Unlike the International Space Station, Gateway will not be permanently inhabited. When there is no one on board, it will operate completely autonomously. Naturally, with time, NASA and international partners plan to expand the Gateway so that it will accommodate more astronauts and life support systems. The addition of a large, roomy housing module will allow astronauts to test in the moon orbit the technologies necessary to conduct long-term space missions such as travel to Mars.

Moon and Gateway as a test of manned Martian mission

The main goal of the Apollo program was a manned landing on the surface of the Moon, while the goal of the Artemis program is to use it as a test platform for future manned space missions in further access to the Solar System, starting from Mars. As part of one of NASA's projects, it is planned to send a crew of four to board the Gateway station. Astronauts would have to stay on board for many months, thus simulating a long journey towards Mars. At the end of this stage, two astronauts will descend to the surface of the Moon, and two will remain aboard the Gateway. After returning from the surface, the crew will spend the next many months on board the station simulating a return from Mars to Earth. It will be by far the longest manned space mission so far and at the same time the first practical test of our readiness to carry out manned missions to further regions of the Solar System.

Next year, NASA plans to start sending new devices to the surface of the Moon. Dozens of rovers, platforms, experiments and technology demonstrators will be gradually transported to the surface of the Moon under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. Part of these transports will be carried out by SpaceX using the Dragon XL ship currently under development . One of the first instruments will be the VIPER rover (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover), which will research the surface as well as potential resources of metals and ice at the South Pole of the Moon.

When the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket and the Orion ship are finally made , astronauts will fly to the moon's surface. As part of the Artemis III mission, people will return to the moon for the first time in over 50 years. The first mission will last about seven days, but as planned, each subsequent one will be longer. The schedule provides for the implementation of one mission per year.

45 days on the surface of the moon. NASA presents manned mission plans


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