In the last couple of months, Nasa has been preparing to venture back to the moon for first time in over 40 years, dishing out contracts worth billions to the titans of aerospace. The program, called the Artemis Program, is hoping to occupy the moon for a longer period of time, potentially setting up for future missions into the further reaches of our solar system. Nasa predicts a preliminary landing date for as early as 2024.
Lately, they’ve started looking into a series of concept vehicles to better prepare scientist to traverse the lunar surface and train them to go beyond it. One of these concept vehicles, named Intrepid, is a robotic lunar lander designed by Arizona State University and First Mode, an engineering firm based in Seattle.
Researchers expect the lunar lander to be able to travel upwards of 1000 miles on the surface over the course of its life time, during which it will be collecting lots of potentially valuable scientific data from various locations like rock formations, relatively young craters and volcanoes. Scientist hope to gain a better understanding of the moon and more importantly the universe by study these locations’ physical properties, environment, composition and local magnetic fields.
This program would also serve as a test to ascertain what technologies and improvement would be need to properly traverse and probe mars, mainly focusing on dust reduction and radiation.
After months of research, the team of scientists will hand over their preliminary findings to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who will then construct a mission architecture and estimated cost based off of the findings and considerations.
Still interested in the technology it takes to get to the moon? Find out about 7 innovations that arose from the Apollo Program.
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