According to a recent announcement, NASA plans mission to return humans to the Moon during a 2021 space flight. The costs of a similar space endeavor would be much smaller than other projects belonging to the administration, officials have explained.
NASA has long planned its 2030 mission on Mars, but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is now hoping they could soon return humans to the Moon and, thus, create a new space station. Figures have revealed that the costs of the mission would be much smaller than the ones of other similar projects as it would require them only $10 billion to set up a lunar base.
NASA has managed to diminish costs for the new mission on Moon by establishing deals with commercial partners. As a consequence, the two selected partners were assigned $5 billion to develop their very own commercial lunar lander and a commercial spacecraft for the crew.
NASA has justified their choice for two partners by saying that one company was not enough to achieve their objectives. They prefer to have ‘redundancy’ than to experience problems as a result of lacking resources and materials.
The project has not yet been approved, but if it would be accepted, the lunar base could be set up in just a few years. The Moon mapping that the Administration has performed through their NexGen study indicates that a similar mission could be sustained on the Moon before 2017.
The first thing that scientists would do, once the rovers have been landed on the Moon, would be to study the surface of the planet in search for traces of hydrogen. The pole regions are said to have larger amounts of hydrogen; therefore, rovers will be first directed in this lunar area.
Further researches will be carried out on the territory of the Moon in 2018 and 2019, so experts could identify the best solutions for the constructions of a lunar base for humans. As soon as the soil has become sufficiently known to NASA researchers, they will being constructing the base in 2021.
Towards the end of the same year, a group of four astronauts will be sent to the Moon much like in the case on the International Space Station.
There are many risks that NASA is now considering before accepting the new project. They are particularly interested in possible machine and human losses that the construction of the new site may cause. In addition, the team of researchers has to consider costs, especially since the project may or may not benefit of the government’s support.
Image source: images.hngn.com
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