Contact
Subscribe
Advertise
Follow us on:
Search:
Banner
Critical Trip Back to the Moon

Critical Trip Back to the Moon
By Stella Law

tp 201910 future 02Moon is just the stepping stone; Mars is humanity鈥檚 priority #1 for a future manned mission. Pretty much all the smart people out there with a stake in humanity鈥檚 space endeavours have agreed on that proposition.

 

NASA, in particular, has enthusiastically embarked on said approach. You鈥檝e probably already heard that the premier space agency is currently busy preparing the groundwork for a revisit to the Earth鈥檚 closest neighbour. But, do you know why it is important to build a more permanent presence in the Moon before aiming for the bigger milestone, i.e. a manned mission to the Red Planet?

 

Well, here鈥檚 a simplified and to-the-point explanation of why NASA is prioritizing Artemis, the agency鈥檚 next crewed lunar mission.

Artists concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launchArtist's concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launch.

 

鏃ュ墠锛孨ASA鍚戠編鍥藉伐涓氶儴闂ㄥ彂甯冧簡涓浠藉緛姹傛剰瑙佺ǹ锛屽笇鏈涗粬浠NASA鍒╃敤缇庡浗鍟嗕笟鍏徃鍚戞湀鐞冭建閬撳钩鍙扳滈棬鎴封濊繍閫佽揣鐗╁拰鍏朵粬鐗╄祫鐨勫彲琛屾ф彁鍑烘剰瑙併傝繖鏄疦ASA涓哄湪浜斿勾鍐呭皢鑸ぉ鍛橀佷笂鏈堢悆琛ㄩ潰鐨勬渶鏂颁妇鎺

 

璇ヨ建閬撳墠鍝ㄧ珯鐨勯椤瑰悗鍕や繚闅滄湇鍔★紝棰勮灏嗘彁渚涚瀛︿华鍣ㄣ佽揣鐗╁拰鍏朵粬鐗╄祫锛屼互鏀寔NASA鐨勨滈樋鑰崇壒寮ユ柉鈥濈櫥鏈堣鍒掞紝璇ヨ鍒掗璁″湪2024骞村墠灏嗕竴鐢蜂竴濂充袱浣嶈埅澶╁憳閫佷笂鏈堢悆琛ㄩ潰銆

 

The strategic significance of the Artemis Lunar Mission

tp 201910 future 03For starters, NASA maintains that the moon is a rewarding destination in itself for an array of scientific and engineering purposes. At the same time, it also emphasizes that a crewed lunar mission will offer an archetypal experimental environment to expand the agency鈥檚 technological reach, which in turn will boost its preparations for more challenging missions such as the one planned for Mars.

 

For Artemis, NASA is collaborating with several international agencies and private enterprises including the European Space Agency (ESA) and SpaceX. This private-public partnership transcending international boundaries is aimed at expediting the process of sending astronauts to the lunar surface at the earliest possible, ushering a new era of space exploration.

TP 201910 future 04鈥滈樋鑰崇壒寮ユ柉鈥濊鍒掔殑鍒涘缓鑰咃紝鏄編鍥戒竴涓彨鍋氣滄湀鐞冭祫婧愬叕鍙糕濈殑鏈烘瀯銆傗滄湀鐞冭祫婧愬叕鍙糕濅簬1994骞村舰寮忔垚绔嬩簡闈炵泩鍒╃殑闈炴斂搴滅粍缁団滈樋鑰崇壒寮ユ柉鍗忎細鈥濓紝浠栦滑璁″垝鍒╃敤鈥滈樋鑰崇壒寮ユ柉鍗忎細鈥濓紙Artemis Society锛夊湪濞变箰棰嗗煙鍒涢犵殑璐㈠瘜锛屼互姝ゆ潵鏀粯鍒涢犳湀鐞冩畺姘戝湴鐨勬垚鏈姇鍏ャ傗滄湀鐞冭祫婧愬叕鍙糕濊繕涔愯鍦拌涓猴紝浠栦滑鐨勬垚鏈彧鏄斂搴滄満鏋勶紙濡傜編鍥借埅绌鸿埅澶╁眬锛夎姳璐圭殑涓灏忛儴鍒嗐

 

鈥滈樋鑰崇壒寮ユ柉鈥濊鍒掕繕鐮旂┒浜嗗叾浠栫┖闂存畺姘戦」鐩紝鍖呮嫭澶栬鏄熷崼鏄熶笂鐨勬畺姘戝湴锛屽綋鐒讹紝杩欐槸涓轰簡鍊熼壌銆

 

The Orion+Gateway combo is key for Future Manned Mars Missions

 

To quickly brush upon NASA鈥檚 strategy, it is building a spacecraft capable of taking humans into the deep space. Dubbed Orion, a spacecraft, can carry up to four astronauts into a distance no human has ever traversed before. With Artemis, this will be the Moon鈥檚 south pole.

An illustration of the power and propulsion element of the Lunar Gateway which is designed to be a reusable command module for astronauts in NASAs Artemis Moon programAn illustration of the power and propulsion element of the Lunar Gateway, which is designed to be a reusable command module for astronauts in NASA鈥檚 Artemis Moon program

 

The spacecraft, designed in collaboration with the ESA, is light enough to be propelled by NASA鈥檚 powerful Space Launch System (SLS) and it can travel hundreds of thousands of miles with adequate provisions to keep the crew alive in emergency scenarios.

 

Orion will dock to Gateway, a small spaceship which will be orbiting the Moon waiting for visiting spacecraft. It will be the Orion crew鈥檚 home-away-from-home.

 

No bigger than a studio apartment, Gateway will have living quarters, sophisticated laboratories, docking ports for spacecraft, and other facilities to support both manned and robotic missions. The level of sophistication in the design and the under-the-hood technologies is such that the spaceship has been internationally recognized as a critical component in humanity鈥檚 future in space.

Gateway 2024 Artist ConceptGateway 2024 Artist Concept

 

Per the existing roadmap, astronauts from NASA and other partner agencies will visit Gateway at least once every year, though their stay won鈥檛 exceed more than three months max at a go. Once there, the crew will use a human landing system featuring a transfer element for their journey to the low-lunar orbit from the Gateway.

 

In the next phase, they will use a descent element to land right on the lunar surface. During departure, the team will use an ascent element to return to the Gateway.

NASA is building the Orion Crew Survival System spacesuit to protect astronauts during launch reentry and emergency situations during Artemis missionsArtist's concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launch.

 

The important point to note here is that NASA will leverage future lunar missions to train astronauts for life in the deep space over an extended period of time. In addition, the crew will also have abundant opportunity to use the Gateway to practice moving in a spaceship along different orbits.

 

Both of these feats will come handy in the long run considering that NASA plans on using a more advanced variant of the Gateway spaceship for crewed Mars missions in the future.

 

Parts of the Gateway are already under construction at several NASA and partner facilities across the US. Up next, the spaceship will be assembled in space in multiple phases using the SLS and the Orion spacecraft. Assistance from commercial launch vehicles will be sought as and when required.

 

The importance of Artemis from a strategic point of view can be best explained by the following expert from NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine鈥檚 recent conversation with Space.com earlier this year:

 

鈥淪o, we can prove all of the technologies, we can reduce all of the risks, we can try all of the different maturations that are necessary to live and work on another world. And we can do it all at the moon, where, if there is a problem, if there is an emergency, we know that we can get people home.鈥

 

If everything goes as per plan, the first element overseeing the power and propulsion elements will go live in 2022. The first manned mission will probably happen in 2024, whereas by 2028, Nasa plans on establishing sustainable missions.

TP 201910 future 01NASA閲嶈繑鏈堢悆鐨勬垬鐣ュ寘鍚細鍦ㄦ湀鐞冭建杩逛笂缂旈犱竴涓┖闂寸珯鈥斺斺滈棬鎴封濓紙Gateway锛夋湀鐞冭建杩圭┖闂寸珯锛屼綔涓哄畤鑸憳寰澶嶆湀鐞冨琛ㄧ殑涓浆绔欙紱NASA杩樹竴鍚戣嚧鍔涗簬寮鍙戞柊寮忕伀绠お绌哄彂灏勪綋绯伙紙SLS锛夛紝鐢ㄤ簬灏嗏滅寧鎴峰骇鈥濓紙Orion锛夎浇浜鸿埅澶╄埍閫佸叆娣辩┖锛涙澶栵紝NASA鏈杩戝懠鍚佸晢涓氬叕鍙哥兢绛栫兢鍔涜鍒掓湀鐞冪潃闄嗗櫒锛屼互渚垮皢瀹囪埅鍛樹粠鈥滈棬鎴封濊繍鑷虫湀鐞冨琛ㄣ

 

NASA璁″垝浜2024骞磋繘琛岀涓娆℃紨绀轰娇鍛斤紝鍖呭惈鐧婚檰鑸变粠鏈堢悆杞ㄨ抗绌洪棿绔欙紙GateWay锛夊嚭鍙戝湪鏈堥潰鐫闄嗭紱2026骞达紝灏嗚繘琛岀2娆℃紨绀轰娇鍛斤紝鐫闄嗗櫒鐢辩櫥闄嗚埍鍜屼笂鍗囪埍缁勬垚锛岃浆杩愰鑸瑰厛灏嗙潃闄嗗櫒杩愬埌闂撮殧鏈堥潰100鍏噷鐨勭幆鏈堣建杩逛笂锛岀潃闄嗗櫒鐫闄嗗睍寮鍕樻帰浣垮懡锛屼娇鍛藉畬姣曞悗鍐嶇敱涓婂崌鑸变緵缁欏姩鍔涘洖鏉ateWay銆2028骞达紝4鍚嶅畤鑸憳灏嗕緷鐓т笂杩版妧鑳借鍒掆滈噸杩旀湀鐞冣濓紝骞跺湪鏈堢悆涓婇楃暀7澶┿

  About TJ+     Contact TJ+     Subscribe to TJ+     Advertise on TJ+  
Copyright © 2019 TianjinPlus.com All rights reserved.