NASA is practicing walking and driving on the moon in the Arizona desert

In preparation for lunar exploration during the Artemis program, NASA conducted two multi-week field experiments near Flagstaff, Arizona with astronauts, engineers and scientists. takes the Artemis astronauts to explore mission scenarios in a simulated environment.

BingMag.com NASA is practicing walking and driving on the moon in the Arizona desert

In preparation for lunar exploration during the Artemis program, NASA conducted two multi-week field experiments near Flagstaff, Arizona with astronauts, engineers and scientists. takes the Artemis astronauts to explore mission scenarios in a simulated environment.

Many features make the Arizona desert similar to the lunar environment, including the challenging terrain, interesting geological structure, and sparse communication infrastructure that the Artemis astronauts will encounter in will experience near the south pole of the Moon.

Two analog missions, or simulations of conditions on other space objects, planned for October 2022 (Oct 1401), include the "Joint Extravehicular Activity Program Field Test Team" and Surface Human Transportation (JETT) and the Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) will provide NASA with important data and lessons learned. This operation takes place in a simulated environment of the Moon to practice for real events.

JETT3: Understanding the Illumination Conditions of the Moon's South Pole for Walking

The JETT3 experiment consists of four A simulated walk is planned to follow Artemis 3, the first manned lunar landing mission. The main focus of this mission is to help NASA understand the conditions necessary for the unique light conditions in the south polar region of the Moon. Flagstaff is scheduled. JETT3 is the last test in the JETT 2022 series, which will go on a larger scale to ensure successful surface operations and development of Artemis 3 technology. To create the right lighting conditions, JETT3 will be conducted at night, and a simulated sun will provide the necessary light and shadows in the test field.

Andrew Feustel and Zena Cardman Cardman) NASA astronauts will be present as the crew of each of these four simulation walks and will move in a circle with an approximate radius of 1.5 km while wearing these suits. The mockups, which fully simulate pressurized spacesuits, use a variety of lunar tools and techniques to collect samples, including rakes, hammers, and samplers.

A flight control team also oversees these activities from Mission Control Center in NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas leads and a science team will continuously analyze these experiments.

At the end of each day and the end of the simulated mission, the science team, flight control team, crew and field experts They exchange opinions with each other about the results of the experiments and finally use these learnings to develop technologies and programs. It is used to plan the operations of Artemis missions.

D-RATS: Test of pressurized surface vehicles

D-RATS will practice post-Artemis 3 mission operations and include The three missions planned for October 11-22 (19-30 Mehr) will be in the Black Point Lava Flow area near the SP crater.

This mission will primarily focus on operations Focused pressurized rovers are a key element of future Artemis missions starting with Artemis 7 in 2030.

Pressurized rovers are like recreational vehicles, commonly known as RVs, with air Coffee, water, food and necessary equipment and tools allow astronauts to stay safely for weeks. Astronauts can easily live and work inside the rover and exit it to collect samples or run experiments.

As part of a study agreement to provide a pressurized rover in the Artemis program, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will also join NASA in the D-RATS experiment, and JAXA astronauts and engineers will have the opportunity to work and live in a pressurized lunar rover prototype.

  • Cooperation of Japan Space Agency and Toyota to build lunar rover

In this way, the astronauts of Japan Space Agency Akihiko Hoshide and Norishige Kanai, and the expert of this agency Naofumi Ikeda joins NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Stan Love and NASA engineer Sarah Shull to drive a pressurized rover for three days. During this time, teams of two crew members engage in activities outside the rover, including simulated walks.

Throughout the D-RATS experiment, NASA and JAXA collected data about the rover's pressurized design, cabin configuration, and more. , driving modes, planning constraints, and mission operations will be collected to be used in the design of future pressurized probes. To record data with field crews and experts They cooperate.

During the Artemis program, NASA is supposed to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon, paving the way for a long-term and stable human presence on Earth's only moon. The program is also a stepping stone for future missions to Mars and deep space.

Cover photo: NASA test missions in the Arizona desert in preparation for the Artemis program
Credit: NASA/Regan Geeseman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *