NASA has been preparing to deploy astronauts to the moon’s south in the last one-and-a-half years in a mission that will be taking place in the next four years. Nevertheless, the agency has the option of canceling the mission if it proves difficult to launch.
NASA has been experiencing problems with the choice of the landing location for the Artemis mission. The NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, called for a meeting dubbed the “Lunar Exploration Analysis Group ” to settle this landing location problem before the spacecraft becomes ready for taking off.
Bridenstine explained in the virtual meeting that the goal of Artemis 3 is to venture the South pole of the moon. Nevertheless, he expounded that if, by chance, the South pole is unexplorable, then Artemis 3 mission will have to switch and head for the Apollo location.
NASA’s senior executive, Mike Pence, called for quick preparation and deployment of astronauts to the moon, especially on the south pole before 2025. He explained that the astronauts must navigate this region of the moon to understand its landscape’s peculiarity. The astronauts will collect samples of ice water accumulated in dark craters where the solar radiation cannot penetrate.
The essence of this project is that ice water is suitable for various processes, including drinking and as a fuel for rockets. But scientists are still evaluating the capacity of processing this water into fuel.
Nevertheless, NASA is taking its time to prepare for a backup mission if the planned mission is unsuccessful. The possible solution is to land the mission in another landing location in Apollo.
Bridenstine explained that the landing site must be a different region, and if not, they must prepare adequately to venture into the equatorial region. If the scientists are going to explore an area where they have already navigated through, they must venture new things and samples.
A revisit to the Apollo would mean discovering the changes which have been taking place over the past days. This revisit would help understand a different aspect of change on the moon’s landscape.
Finally, Kathy Leuders of NASA explained that a new mission to the south pole would require adequate planning and observation to ensure the area is explorable. Nevertheless, the venture is worthy, and the spacecraft will have the capacity to dock at a different zone once its development concludes.