Astronauts could work on Moon by 2030, says NASA
Artemis 1 is the first in a series of three lunar missions by NASA. The mission comprising the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, successfully took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 16. And now, Howard Hu, the chief of NASA's Orion program, has claimed that astronauts could be active on the Moon by the end of 2030.
Why does this story matter?
- The Artemis 1 mission is one of its kind. It is an uncrewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft and the SLS rocket.
- The success of this endeavor will pave the way for Artemis 2 and 3 missions, both of which are crewed lunar missions.
- NASA aims to land astronauts on Moon after a period of almost 50 years since the Apollo 17 mission.
Astronauts will be 'doing science' on Moon this decade
On BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Hu said, "Certainly, in this decade, we are going to have people living for durations, depending on how long we will be on the surface," adding, "They will have habitats, rovers on the ground." "We are going to be sending people down to the surface, and they are going to be living on the surface and doing science."
Orion spacecraft will return to Earth on December 11
The Orion is currently at a distance of 134,000km from the Moon. The spacecraft is expected to cover roughly 2.9 million kilometers over the course of its 25-day mission. Upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere, the spacecraft will move at a speed of approximately 40,000km/h. It is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.
Lunar Gateway will support NASA's deep space exploration plans
NASA's Artemis missions will also aid in the development of Lunar Gateway, the first space station in the lunar orbit. It will measure about one-sixth the size of the International Space Station (ISS). It will be used for research and exploration in space and also provide a place for the astronauts to live and work. It should support science and technology demonstrations by 2026.