Man last walked on the moon 50 years ago
Astronauts will be able to fly into orbit of the Moon in 2024 and they will come to Earth in 2025
NASA had to postpone its second attempt to send a “crew capsule” into lunar orbit
Sidney. (The conversation), US space agency NASA’s new moon rocket suffered another dangerous fuel leak on Saturday, forcing launch controllers to postpone their second attempt to send a “crew capsule” into lunar orbit with test dummies. Earlier on Monday, the problem arose due to a hydrogen leak during the first attempt. It is NASA’s most powerful rocket, standing 322 feet tall. After all, what is going to be achieved from this mission, let’s know in detail.
This mission is an exciting step towards sending humans to the moon for the first time since 1972. But this time it’s not just about leaving our footprints on the moon’s floor, but it’s the beginning of a new space race for lunar resources. This time everyone wants to do mining on the moon.
back to the moon
There is something very new and inspiring about the Artemis program. Artemis 1 is the program’s first mission and will perform an experimental flight to orbit the Moon and return to Earth after a 42-day uncrewed journey. The trip will use a new launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently the most powerful rocket in the world.
There will be three effigies of male and female models on set. NASA will use these dummies to test the comfort and safety of launch vehicles and spaceflight capsules for humans. Several other experiments were also carried out on board and a series of small satellites will be launched to provide data when the capsule is close to the Moon. The lessons learned from this mission will be applied to Artemis 2, the mission planned for 2024 and supposed to send a man and a woman to the Moon.
A new space race?
However, the return of man to the Moon is not only a matter of discovery and the search for knowledge. Just as the space race of the 1960s was inspired by Cold War geopolitics, today’s space programs are based on today’s geopolitics. The United States leads Artemis, which includes the European Space Agency and several other allies including Australia, while China and Russia cooperate on their respective lunar programs. They plan to put a man on the moon in 2026.
India is also working on robotic lunar landers and lunar spaceflight programs. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also plans to launch a lunar lander in November this year. The long-term goal of this race is to acquire lunar resources.
resources on the moon
Water ice has been detected in the southern regions of the Moon and it is hoped that some of the gases that could be used as fuel can also be extracted.
These resources can be used to build long-term human habitation on and near the Moon, as well as to build permanent space stations in orbit around the Moon, such as the “gateways” planned by NASA. The Australian Space Agency is helping Australian industry become part of the Artemis program and is planning subsequent US trips to Mars. Australian scientists are also developing a lunar rover to help lunar mining efforts.
What are the rules?
Over the next five years, we can expect huge political tensions to rise around this new run on the Moon. A question that has not yet been answered is: what laws govern activities on the Moon? The 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits access to space by “sovereignty, possession or any other means”. It is not yet clear whether mining or other methods of extracting the resource are covered by this ban.
technical and political challenges
NASA has chosen the name “Artemis” for this new lunar adventure. Artemis is the Greek moon goddess and twin sister of Apollo (the name of NASA’s 1960 Moon spacecraft program). Artemis announced that she never wanted to get married because she didn’t want to be owned by any man.
Although ownership of the Moon cannot be claimed, we will see competition over whether parts of it can be mined. Undoubtedly, scientists and engineers will solve technical challenges in order to return to the Moon. Legal and political challenges may prove more difficult to resolve.
Keywords: moon, NASA
FIRST POST: 04 September 2022, 15:08 IST