Washington, Jul 3 (Canadian-Media): NASA has selected 12 new science and technology payloads that will help us study the Moon and explore more of its surface as part of the agency’s Artemis lunar program, NASA reports said.
These investigations and demonstrations will help the agency send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 as a way to prepare to send humans to Mars for the first time.
The selected investigations will go to the Moon on future flights through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) project. The CLPS project allows rapid acquisition of lunar delivery services for payloads like these that advance capabilities for science, exploration, or commercial development of the Moon.
Many of the new selections incorporate existing hardware, such as parts or models designed for missions that have already flown. Seven of the new selections are focused on answering questions in planetary science or heliophysics, while five will demonstrate new technologies.
Commercial landers will carry NASA-provided science and technology payloads to the lunar surface, paving the way for NASA astronauts to land on the Moon by 2024/ Credits: NASA
"The selected lunar payloads represent cutting-edge innovations, and will take advantage of early flights through our commercial services project,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "Each demonstrates either a new science instrument or a technological innovation that supports scientific and human exploration objectives, and many have broader applications for Mars and beyond.”
The 12 selected investigations are:
Lunar Demonstration of a Reconfigurable, Radiation Tolerant Computer System.
Regolith Adherence Characterization (RAC) Payload
The Lunar Magnetotelluric Sounder
The Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment (LuSEE)
The Lunar Environment heliospheric X-ray Imager (LEXI)
Next Generation Lunar Retroreflectors (NGLR)
The Lunar Compact InfraRed Imaging System (L-CIRiS)
The Lunar Instrumentation for Subsurface Thermal Exploration with Rapidity (LISTER)
SAMPLR: Sample Acquisition, Morphology Filtering, and Probing of Lunar Regolith
NASA’s lunar exploration plans are based on a two-phase approach: the first is focused on speed – landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024 – while the second will establish a sustained human presence on the Moon by 2028. The agency will use what we learn on the Moon to prepare for the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.