The POT has identified up to 13 regions of the Moon where a future human moon landingas reported by the US space agency itself.
“The selection of these regions means that we are one giant step closer to returning humans to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program,” said Deputy Administrator of the Artemis Campaign Development Division, Mark Kirasich.
The program ‘Artemis‘ is NASA’s project to bring humans back to Earth’s satellite and the first crewed mission being prepared, which will be called Artemis III, in which the first woman to walk on the moon.
Kirasich has pointed out that, when this happens, “it will be a mission unlike any before, since the astronauts will venture into dark zones previously unexplored by humans and will lay the foundations for future long-term stays.”
What are the 13 regions of the Moon?
Regarding the localized regions, it is Borde Faustini A; Peak near Shackleton; Connection crest; Extension of the connecting ridge; Gerlache edge 1; Gerlache edge 2; Gerlache-Kocher massif; Haworth; Malapert Massif; Leibnitz Beta Plateau; Noble Edge 1; Noble Edge 2; and Amundsen’s edge.
As reported by NASA, all of them are less than six degrees from the lunar south pole and, collectively, contain various geological features.
In addition, he indicated that these regions offer landing options for all potential Artemis III launch opportunities and explained that the specific landing sites are closely tied to the timing of the launch window, so having multiple regions ensures flexibility. for release throughout the year.
To select the regions, a team of agency scientists and engineers surveyed the area near the Moon’s south pole using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, as well as decades of publications and lunar scientific findings.
Similarly, the availability of launch windows was taken into account. Specifically, as indicated by the US agency, the team evaluated the regions based on their ability to allow a safe landing, using criteria such as the slope of the terrain, ease of communication with the Earth and lighting conditions.
Read also: Follow the minute by minute of the launch of the Artemis I program bound for the Moon
In addition, experts have also valued its accessibility and the combined capabilities of the Space Launch System rocket, the Orion spacecraft and the Starship human landing system provided by Space-X.
“Several of the proposed sites in these regions are located in some of the oldest parts of the Moon and, along with the permanently shadowed regions, offer an opportunity to learn about the Moon’s history through previously unstudied lunar materials.” “, has explained the head of lunar science of Artemis, Sarah Noble.
Following these identifications, NASA will discuss the 13 regions with the broader science and engineering community and select sites for Artemis III after determining mission launch dates, which will determine transfer trajectories and surface environmental conditions.
Read also: Why did NASA suspend the launch of Artemis I for the second time?
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