NASA’s Artemis base camp on the moon needs light, water and altitude

An artist’s view of the moon base. Credit: ESA – P. Caryl

By 2024, American astronauts will take their first steps near the South Pole: high light, darkness, and cold water could produce fuel. NASAArtemis’s lunar base and the agency’s jump into the abyss.

Scientists and engineers are helping NASA to figure out the exact location of the Artemis Base Camp concept. NASA has two key features to consider when selecting a specific location: The station must swim near continuous sunlight to light the base and moderate temperature fluctuations, and should be easily accessible to completely dark areas. Water ice.

Although the South Pole region has many well-lit areas, some parts see more or less light than others. Scientists have discovered that astronauts see long periods of light at high altitudes, such as some volcanoes. But because the sun’s rays hit the South Pole at such a low angle, the bottom of some deep pits is covered in permanent darkness, because it only clears their spine.

Artemis is designed for Mars Infographic

Infography showing the evolution of lunar movements on Earth and in orbit. Credit: NASA

These special lighting conditions are related to the orientation of the moon and the topography of the South Pole. The moon, with an angle of 23.5 degrees Fahrenheit[1.5 ° C]is only 1.5 degrees above the horizon. As a result, no lunar eclipse, as is the case here on earth, does not look for tips to stay away from the sun or the sun all year round – here it gives us sunny and dark seasons. This means that the height of the sun in the sky on the lunar eclipses does not change much during the day. If a person were to stand on a mountain near the South Pole of the Moon, at any time of the year, he would see the sun shining like a flashlight on the table.


A clip of a virtual reality tour of the South Pole, created by NASA engineers, will help astronauts, scientists and missionaries dive into a strange environment as they prepare to return to the moon. Credit: NASA Godard Space Flight Center (Jeffrey Hossler) Brent Gary / Thomas G Group

“This is such an amazing landscape,” said W. Brent Gary, a geologist at NASA’s Godar Space Space Flight Center in Greenland, Maryland. Gary is working with engineers on a virtual reality tour of the South Pole to help dive astronauts, scientists and missionaries into a strange environment as they prepare to return to the moon.

Although the base camp needs a lot of light, it is also important that astronauts can take short trips to permanent dark visitors. Scientists expect that these shady valleys have cool reservoirs that explorers can use to sustain life. “One idea is to settle in the illuminated zone and move on to these cold wells,” said NASA Godard, a planet scientist who participated with NASA’s South Pole station analysis and planning team. Temperatures in some of the coolest wells can drop as low as -391 degrees Fahrenheit (-235 degrees) Celsius)

Initial plans included landing on a relatively flat underground or flat surface. “They don’t want the airport to reach the top, so they want to land as flat as you can,” Moriarty said.


Preparing to explore the moon is more than just designing and building safer spacecraft and spacecraft. NASA must also ensure that surface vehicles and clothing have the mobility to do science, and astronauts have the tools to identify and invent rock and soil samples. Credit: NASA Godard Space Flight Center / James Traley

If there are areas such as landing or solar panels – the landing area should be at least half a mile or 1 km from the rest of the base camp. In addition, landing spacecraft should be set at a certain height to prevent high-speed debris from being dropped on equipment or areas of scientific interest. Some scientists estimate that when a spacecraft pushes its engines to a smooth surface, it can spray hundreds of pounds or kilograms of ground particles, water, and other gases within two miles or several miles.

“They want to use landscapes such as hills that can be a barrier to reduce pollution,” said biomechanical and industrial engineer, architect, and NASA South Pole analysis and planner. Team So we are looking at the distances, the ups and downs in our plan.

It is important for scientists to stay as clean as possible on the moon, around the landing site and at the base camp. For example, one of the many interesting features of the South Pole is the location of the moon on or near the earth and the so-called distant realm.

These two halves are very different from geography, with more bumps on the far side and thicker shells on the near side. Scientists do not know why the two sides were created in this way.

Artemis base camp must be on the surface of the earth in order for engineers to use radio waves to communicate with astronauts. But scientists expect billions of years of lunar eclipses, rocks, and dust from each hemisphere to be picked up and spread, so astronomers can collect distant samples from their base camp. By the side.

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