NASA will unveil potential future landing sites for a human return to the moon’s surface, and you can watch the briefing on Space.com today (August 19), or directly on the space agency’s website .
NASA is serious about getting humans back to the Moon this decade and has already defined the most practical landing sites that will be targeted by the Artemis 3 mission in 2025.
The agency will reveal the candidate landing sites during a briefing today (August 19) at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), NASA said in a statement. (opens in a new tab). NASA and its partners plan to land near the lunar south pole, where water ice is thought to exist in permanently shadowed craters. The region also presents exciting opportunities for scientific exploration, including astronomical observations from the surface of the moon.
Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 Lunar Mission: Live Updates
“Each of the selected regions, from which specific landing sites could be selected, is of scientific interest and has been evaluated on the basis of terrain, communications and lighting conditions, as well as the ability to achieve the objectives. scientists,” NASA said in the statement. “NASA will engage with the wider scientific community in the coming months to discuss the merits of each region.”
If successful, the landing will mark the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 that man will have set foot on Earth’s celestial companion. The ambitious Artemis program aims not only to put the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the moon, but also to establish a permanent human presence on the moon and in its orbit.
The first stage of the Artemis program is scheduled to take place later this month with the uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocketthat will lift a void Orion Crew Pod for a round trip to the moon and back to test a variety of critical technologies. If successful, the mission, called Artemis 1will pave the way for the first human lunar round trip in 2024 and subsequent landing in 2025.
NASA already selected SpaceX to build the landing system to take astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon as part of the Artemis 3 mission.
Later in the decade, NASA and its partners (the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) plan to establish a permanent space station in orbit around the Moon, called bridgeand possibly a base on the surface of the moon.
In the future, the missions of March can launch from the Moon instead of the Earth to reduce the cost and technical complexity of these launches.