Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will provide a basis for human exploration of deep space with the goal of achieving the return of man to the Moon by 2024 while demonstrating whether it is possible to extend the human existence to the celestial body.
NASA announced last Friday that it will seek to launch its unmanned Artemis I mission in February, with which it will formalize the first stage of the United States plan to achieve the return of man to the Moon.
This mission, which will mark the start of the Artemis program, was scheduled for the end of this year, and the space agency hoped to be able to carry it out with astronauts on board in 2024, on the Artemis III spacecraft. However, the schedule was delayed.
NASA achieved an important milestone on Wednesday at the dock of the crew capsule Orion on its megacohete of the System Launch Space, now measures 98 meters in height within the building Vehicle Assembly at the Kennedy Space Center NASA in Florida.
After conducting several tests, it will be transferred to the launchpad for a final test in January, with the first window for the launch in February, authorities assured journalists from the AFP agency.
Mike Sarafin, head of the Artemis 1 mission, said: “The February launch period begins on the 12th and our last chance in February is on the 27th.” The next windows are in March and then in April.
These possible launch dates depend on the orbital mechanics and the relative position of the Earth with respect to its natural satellite.
They also reported that the mission is expected to last between four and six weeks.
The spacecraft will deploy a series of small satellites, known as CubeSats, to conduct experiments and technology demonstrations.
Although it is likely to be delayed, Artemis II has technically scheduled for 2023 and Artemis III for 2024, which may mark humanity’s return to the Moon from the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
NASA says that among the astronauts who will go to the moon will be the first woman and the first person of color to make that trip.
The US space agency seeks to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon and use the lessons learned to plan a crewed trip to Mars in the 2030s.
NASA confirmed that the Jezero crater on Mars could harbor life
After a selection process that spanned five years and included more than 60 locations on the Martian surface, the Jezero crater on Mars was chosen by NASA as the landing site for ” Perseverance, ” considered the most ambitious mission in the world. the agency to find signs of ancient microbial life on the planet.
It is a 45-kilometer-diameter crater, within a huge plain formed by an impact known as Isidis Planitia, located in the northern hemisphere of Mars. This site was chosen for clues to its past: the agency was betting that its structure resembled the delta of a river that may have shaped a huge lake 3.5 billion years ago.
Under this premise, Perseverance landed in the crater on February 18, 2021, and eight months later, the first study published with the data from the rover’s observations confirms the previous observations: Jezero was a lake and could host evidence of ancient life forms.
The study published in Science confirmed the presence of clayey sediments in the crater, which on Earth only form thanks to the fact that the water once flowed.
Perseverance is the most sophisticated rover to ever visit Mars: equipped with seven scientific instruments, two microphones and 23 cameras in total, it has a robotic arm capable of extending two meters, which includes a science camera, a rock-drilling drill and other instruments. to perform chemical tests; all with the goal of finding signs of ancient microbial life and learning more about the planet’s geology and climate.