Artemis: Lady Walking On The Moon
Editorials News | Aug-04-2019
Giant steps are what you take
Walking on the moon
I hope my legs don't break
Walking on the moon
We could walk forever
Walking on the moon
We could live together
Walking on, walking on the moon…….. The Police
It has been five decades since man first landed on the Moon. After a long gap NASA is gearing up to face the task of repeating the feat yet once again. An ambitious deadline has been set for 2024, by none other than the US President Donald Trump.
Key decisions have to be made about how this massive feat can be pulled off named Artemis after Apollo's twin sister. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has promised that the mission will deliver the first woman to the moon. One of the biggest challenges in the attempt to return to the Moon might be acquiring a large Lander, which after being launched with Orion on the heavy-lift rocket, could be able to carry astronauts all the way to the lunar surface. Till now all such Landers have only been designed on paper. However, US Space agency has selected 13 firms and it includes Blue Moon craft from Blue Origin, the rocket company that was founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos,Lockheed Martin of Denver, Colorado and SpaceX of Elon Musk.
Pulling it off “will require everyone to work at high speed — and multiple stakeholders control that speed”, says Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s science division. “There are many failure modes that one could imagine.”
Various NASA centers will partner with these companies. There are a wide range of companies that are involved ranging from small businesses with less man-power to large aerospace organizations, who will provide the required expertise, the facilities, the hardware and soft ware’s at no cost to be a part of this great mission as per the disclosure made by the Agency.
While NASA is trying to meet its deadline it has China as a potential competitor who is making very steady progress towards landing astronauts on Moon by 2030. They have been successful in their lunar mission as its Chang'e-4 probe became the first spacecraft from any nation to land on the Moon's far side. They are also working on four more robotic missions. They aim to send Chang'e-5 in order to bring back Mon rock and soil.
One of the associate firms of NASA, Orbit Beyond of Edison, New Jersey intends to send a Lander to the Mare Imbrium lava plain on the Moon in 2020.This probe will be carrying NASA instruments, one of which will be to monitor the level of cosmic radiation that the astronauts would be exposed on landing on the Moon.
Over the next few years many more advanced probes will be sent for more complex activities. The Agency is also working on developing it heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule, which would carry the astronauts into deep space.
It is not just about the workforce, but it will be a costly affair too and the bills could cost $20 to $30 billion dollars. Though the mission has scientific merit, however, it needs political momentum to make it a success. NASA had aimed at to do this Moon mission by 2028; however, the Trump administration accelerated the project to 2024. We have to wait and watch; as if only Trump gets reelected he will remain in office till January 2025, which looks like the lunar landing could happen theoretically during his presidency.
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
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