NASA Picks Parking Spots For Artemis Mission; How Is It Different From The Apollo Landing?

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NASA Artemis mission is one of the most ambitious projects taken up by the premier agency, which involves sending humans back to the Moon once again. For the same, NASA is deciding where the rocket will land and park on the lunar surface. NASA has picked 13 landing sites on the South Pole of the Moon.

 
NASA Picks Parking Spots For Artemis Mission: All You Need To Know

NASA Artemis Mission Update: Landing Spots On The Moon

NASA has picked a few potential spots where the astronauts could land in 2026 on the Moon. These areas were picked using the data from LRO or the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Each of these parking spots is about 10 by 10 miles (15 by 15 kilometers). They also contain multiple landing sites with a radius of around 328 feet (100 meters).

The LRO has been mapping and gathering intel on the Moon since its landing in 2009. These spots are in the South Pole of the Moon, which NASA believes contains water ice in the shadowed regions. To note, the South Pole on the Moon has a few areas that are permanently covered in darkness and a few more that are in constant sunlight.

"Finding locations of greater-than-average amounts of light enables us to design systems that take advantage of light for energy and thermal control," said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist at NASA during a press briefing.

"Similarly, locations of permanent shadow which are unique to the poles provide opportunities to water and other volatiles that are trapped there," he further explained. Simply put, despite the advantages of the South Pole on the Moon, NASA has to take care of many technical details before the astronauts land on the lunar surface.

NASA Artemis Mission: How Is It Different From Apollo Landing?

The NASA Artemis mission will be sending astronauts to the Moon, decades after the Apollo mission. However this time, NASA won't be using the same landing spot as the Apollo astronauts.

 

"Apollo landing sites were in the sort of central part of the near side, and now we're going someplace completely different, in different and ancient geologic terrain," Sarah Noble, Artemis lunar science lead explained.

The Artemis mission is different in many other aspects as it plans to further establish and sustain a human presence on the Moon, which will further boost deep space exploration. NASA will be sending the second man and the first woman to the Moon as part of the mission, most likely in 2026.

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