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In the Arizona desert, NASA is preparing to walk on the moon

NASA sent Astronauts Zena Cardman and colleague Drew Feustel are on a mission to collect rock samples near Cone Volcano, Arizona, USA, wearing their spacesuits as part of a simulated moonwalk.

The two scientists examined the features of the rocks Under the lights on their suits, and orienting themselves using low-resolution maps of the area, they were not allowed to use a GPS or carry a compass during the mission, as neither of them work on the surface of the moon. Simulating the experience of walking on the surface of the moon was difficult and confusing, but Cardman and Feustel were not alone. A team of scientists and flight operations personnel from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston studied crater maps and tracked the progress of the astronauts. Mission control relayed a series of instructions and tips to astronaut Kate Robbins, who was the main point of contact with the astronauts.

This task is prepared The latest simulation of a moonwalk under NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the lunar surface by 2025. The main goal of Gate 3 and other analog missions is not just to train astronauts, but to test everything else like chisels. The documents that astronauts will use, and the documents that scientists on Earth will use to catalog every trip to the moon. “The main goal of these analog missions is to develop and test new devices and methods in an environment that is cheap and safe compared to space,” says NASA astronaut Stan Love, who has participated in many of these missions.

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Simulation of a mission to go to the surface of the moon
NASA sent analog missions all over the world, And it has created many facilities designed for all kinds of different tests, such as the “Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory” at Johnson Space Center, which contains a giant swimming pool that allows teams to walk underwater in pressurized suits, where the “Argus Facility” uses steel cables and computerized engines to allow astronauts to move as if They would experience gravity on Mars or the Moon. The space agency began sending its large-scale analog missions again with the start of the Artemis program, using real procedures and instruments on the mission. “This test was set up to be as real as possible,” says Sarah Noble, co-Gate3 co-leader of lunar sciences in NASA’s Planetary Science Division. On the International Space Station, astronauts routinely conduct experiments, and the flight operations crew allows scientists to communicate directly with the astronauts during the mission, because of their long experience dating back more than two decades, as the scientists lived and worked in the laboratory, which orbits at an altitude of 400 meters. kilometers above the earth’s surface. By contrast, the Artemis crew will be more than 362,000 kilometers away when it conducts its first lunar walk in more than five decades. “Having mid-mission contact between scientists and astronauts during perilous situations is something we haven’t done before, and yet we need to be able to do that in order to get the best out of science in the time we have,” Love says.

  • In a series of analog missions known as “Desert Rats,” NASA tested how astronauts operate a pressurized rover on the surface of the Moon or Mars. This experimental vehicle, which weighs 3,300 kilograms, can travel in any direction.

Lunar vehicles for the future
NASA and its international partners started Equipping technologies that could start an era of new exploration in preparation for a return to the lunar surface, the Japan Aerospace Agency announced in 2020 the start of its partnership with Toyota to build a pressurized manned lunar rover. A team including NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Japanese astronauts Akihiko Hoshide and Norishing Kanae took part in an analog mission called Desert Rats, in which a trio of astronauts and a team of engineers lived for about a week in groups of two inside a spacecraft. NASA pilot and pilot around the point of a black lava flow near Cone Volcano. The Desert Rats and Gate 3 missions are among the most recent analog missions that provide many accurate information for all astronauts’ needs, and pave a bright future for NASA’s lunar ambitions.

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