It looks like we are back in time. At least NASA’s new plan looks such. After 50 years of successful landing of 12 humans on Moon, NASA has decided to revisit the star. Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s new administrator said that “Landing on Moon will help us prepare for Mars as both are supportive for each other” in Washington D.C. last week.
Why Nasa Wants To Revisit Moon?
In the span of fifty years, the Moon is no more a dry, barren land as it was. In recent years, the findings of water molecules on the craters of the surface is also one of the main reason for NASA planning out such mission. The future explorers’ need not carry much of water and can build their own colony near the ice and extract the water for their day to day activities. The moon has levitating dust due to electrostatic charges on the surface during the sunrise and sunset which makes it very difficult to survive on the surface. Not just water, the discovery of underground lava tubes also serves as a spot of human shelter far from the radiation on the moon’s surface.
How does Moon help To Prepare For Mars?
Since Moon is the closest body from the Earth and the Apollo astronauts were able to reach it in two days itself, the Moon seems like an ideal test ground for its missions. When Apollo 13 spacecraft suffered an explosion of the oxygen tank in 1970 while the astronauts took off, NASA was able to prevent a disaster from happening. They made the astronauts loop around the moon and land back on the Earth safely. So, visiting the Moon will help NASA prepare for sending humans on Mars with safety and protection of the astronauts.
Also, for testing out new technologies, the Moon will be an ideal place rather than be going all the way to Mars. Which type of habitat, what spacesuits should be designed in order to stay protected from the dust on the Lunar surface and other such can be prepared and tackled before moving on to Mars.
The Moon and the Mars might not be the perfect twins but any experiments in the space will only help to increase their chances of building a habitat on the Red Planet. Mars is a planet with dust storms and strange weather conditions which will present new challenges to astronauts but they also have a 24-hour day which will make it a bit easy for them.
When Has Nasa Planned Out The Event?
NASA’s long-term goal was a landing on the red planet by 2030s. They also started building a spacecraft called Orion that is supposed to carry the astronauts. But now, a mission to the Moon will push the Mars’ mission by few years or even decades further. Some people are saying out that a mission to Moon will not be far away and can happen by 2020s but it will be to optimist to assume that. On a funny note, there are still 5 surviving astronauts who have set their foot on Moon and are in their late 80s. Planning a mission soon enough will help to have surviving humans who have set their foot on Moon before the existing ones die.