NASA continues with its plan to send a man and a woman to the Moon by 2024 during the Artemis program. It will be a great achievement, considering that astronauts haven’t been sent to our natural satellite since almost half a century ago – 1972, to be more precise.
The famous American space agency is now asking commercial companies to collect small amounts of dirt and rocks from the Moon. Any region from the lunar surface will do.
Prove with images and location data
If you own a company capable of sending a probe to the Moon for collecting rocks and dirt, it’s good to know that you’ll need to provide both imagery and location data for your space exploration. And last but not least, you’ll also have to transfer ownership to NASA.
Humans went to the Moon last time in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission. The crew consisted of Commander Eugene Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, and Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans. The spacecraft also carried a biological experiment containing five mice. Apollo 17 was a “J-type mission”, as it included three days on the surface of the Moon, extended scientific capability, and also the use of the third Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).
If the Artemis program will prove itself successful (and it would be absurd to be otherwise), the next step for NASA is to send humans to Mars for the first time in history. It will take all the knowledge and effort needed, as the Red Planet is much farther away from Earth than the Moon. If our natural satellite revolves around us at ‘only’ 384,400 km, the average distance to Mars is 68,341 million km. Not to mention that any space travel involves risks such as lack of oxygen and atmospheric pressure. There’s also the risk of cosmic radiation that can severely jeopardize an astronaut’s health condition.