NASA’s Arrangements For Its Next Moonwalk Underwater In 2024

Engineers in NASA are working on base for moonwalks conducted by the first woman and later man landing on lunar south pole in 2024. It is the part of the Artemis program.

Image Source – nasa

For the lunar surface activity, various teams are examining tools and working on a training path. This is organized in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. For example in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), at Johnson, astronauts in their new spacesuit along with engineers are working on various problems and tasks that they might have to face on the Moon’s surface.

“This early testing will help determine the best complement of facilities for hardware development and requirements for future Artemis training and missions,” said Daren Welsh, extravehicular activity test lead for this Artemis preparation test runs.

He also added, “At the same time, we are going to be able to gather valuable feedback on spacewalk tools and procedures that will help inform some of the objectives for the missions.”

Image Source – nasa

NASA has a comprehensive practice in adapting astronauts for the spacewalks in microgravity due to the build-up and managing performed for the International Space Station for twenty years but the preparation for the Artemis program is different.

“We have experience with the space station, but we need to determine how we’re going to train the crew for surface operations during these specific missions,” Welsh said. “There is a lot of work to do to get the facilities ready to work for lunar missions and figure out how to facilitate the training.”

Astronauts are performing various tasks under the water along with picking up samples of lunar regolith, inspect a lunar lander, and setting up an American flag. Numerous other things are there that the teams have to examine and workover. They are –

  • Getting up and down a ladder safely
  • Swinging a chisel carefully
  • Organize successful moonwalks in various lighting circumstances than the Apollo-era moonwalks

 “We can evaluate tools in a lab or the rock yard, but you can learn so much when you put a pressurized spacesuit on and have to work within the limitations of its mobility,” Welsh said. “These NBL runs are so valuable for understanding the human performance component and ensuring our astronauts are as safe as possible.

Image Source – nasa

Along with the tests in NBL, various groups are also replicating the lunar conditions with various analog environments. It is taking place at Johnson’s rock yard which replicates the usual features of the lunar surface.

All of the tests performed are helping the team and they are becoming more friendly with the surface activities. The teams are expanding the testing to complete the full lunar spacewalk event.

NASA will analyze the maximum of lunar surface than ever done before in 2024 which would help to perform the next big project – Sending First Human To The Mars.

Source – nasa

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