A few days ago, thehas selected several potential Moon landing sites for the Artemis III mission, the first in the program to return the United States to the Moon. NASA plans it in 2025 with a crew of two astronauts, including a woman and a person of color. Thirteen locations of approximately 15 square kilometers have been identified within which one or more landing sites are possible, with a radius of plus or minus 100 meters. Obviously, these places were not chosen randomly. They offer ideal “technical” conditions to land, live and work there and are of scientific interest.
Contrary tosituated in and on the side visible from Earth, all of these future Artemis mission sites are located at the lunar South Pole. The choice of several dozen potential sites, rather than a few, is explained by NASA’s desire to give itself some year-round flexibility and launch flexibility.
This selection was made in
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The floor is mostly assembled…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/1/8/5/185cdbdb9f_50037535_4511351082-70b575ee53-02.jpg” data -url= “https://news.google.com/house/definitions/house-floor-10840/” data-more=”Read more”> craters permanently in the shadow of the Sun is the closest star to Earth, from which it is about 150 million kilometers away. The Sun is 8.5 kparsecs from the center of the Milky Way. In stellar classification, the sun is a G2-type star.
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Landing sites that meet technical and scientific criteria
The choice of the landing site is always a headache for the scientific team of each mission, whose site must not only be suitable for the researchers, but above all for the engineers and pilots of the lunar lander that is going to land on the moon. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always possible to land where the scientific interest is greatest because many parameters need to be taken into account. For the most part, they are tied to the combined abilities of the space launch system (SLS), of the spacecraftY of SpaceX that will define the profile of the mission and the landing trajectory of the .
In addition, the surface on which Artemis III will land must also meet certain conditions, such as terrain that is as flat as possible and slightly crowded with large rocks, as well as an altitude that facilitates communications with Earth.
All are located in the vicinity of cavities or craters permanently shaded from the sun.
These landing sites were also chosen based on scientific recommendations. As expected, they are all located in the vicinity of cavities or craters permanently in the shadow of the Sun, whose bottoms and floors could harbor water ice. ” Several of the sites offered in these regions are located in some of the oldest parts of the Moon and, along with the permanently shaded regions, provide the opportunity to learn more about the Moon’s history through lunar materials that are still have not been studied. said Sarah Noble, chief scientist for the Artemis mission in NASA’s Planetary Science Division.
This video features a data visualization showing the locations of the 13 locations highlighting the topography and exploration potential of these areas. © NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Finally, the team of engineers and scientists in charge of selecting these sites also took into account thespecific to Artemis III, in particular that of landing close enough to a region in the shadow of the Sun at all times to allow the crew to reach it easily, while limiting its degradation, or even its contamination, that the maneuver could cause the landing. This should allow the crew to collect samples and conduct scientific analysis in an area without it being damaged by the which will provide important information such as the depth, distribution and composition of the water ice that has been confirmed at the South Pole of the Moon, for example.
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