According to a study, astronauts will live and work on the Moon before the end of the decade. NASA formal.
Howard Hu, head of the US agency’s Orion lunar spacecraft program, said humans could be “active” on the moon for “times” before 2030, with the habitats they will live in and rovers to support their jobs.
“Definitely, in this decade, depending on how long we’re on the surface, we’re going to have long-living humans. They’ll have habitats, they’ll have reconnaissance vehicles on the ground,” he said. “We’re going to send people to the surface and they’re going to live on that surface and do science,” he added.
Hu was put in charge of NASA’s deep space probe in February, and was speaking on Sunday as the 98-metre (322ft) Artemis rocket orbited the moon. first crewed mission.
The giant rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, after a series of delays due to technical glitches and hurricanes.
The spacecraft carries three fully-fit dummies that will record the stresses and strains of the Artemis 1 mission. The rocket is now about 83,000 miles (134,000 km) from the moon.
“It’s our first step towards long-term deep space exploration, not just for the United States, but for the world. I think it’s a historic day for NASA, but it’s also a historic day for anyone who loves manned spaceflight and deep space exploration,” he said.
“We’re going back to the moon. We’re working towards a sustainable program and this vehicle will carry the people who will land us on the moon again,” he said.
The spacecraft will fly within 60 miles of the Moon and travel another 40,000 miles and return, aiming for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on December 11. The spacecraft will travel 1.3 million miles in the 25-day mission, the farthest a human-built spacecraft has ever flown.
When the spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, it will travel at approximately 25,000 mph, sending the heat shield’s temperature up to about 2,800C (5,000F). It is expected to splash onto the shores of San Diego.
A successful mission will pave the way for subsequent flights of Artemis 2 and 3, both of which will send humans around the moon and back. The Artemis 3 mission, which may not launch until 2026, is expected to return humans to the lunar surface for the first time since Apollo 17 in December 1972. According to Nasa’s plans, this mission is a subsequent visit to the Moon that brings the first woman down to the lunar surface, the first non-white person.
Named after Apollo’s twin brother, the Artemis program also plans the construction of the Lunar Gateway, a space station where astronauts will live and work while orbiting the moon. “To move forward is really to go to Mars,” Hu told the BBC. “This is a bigger step up, a two-year journey, so it will be really important to learn beyond our Earth orbit.”
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