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Artemis III: NASA to announce sites on Moon's South Pole where humans will land

NASA selected SpaceX’s Starship to provide the human landing system to deliver crew from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon during Artemis III, which is the first Artemis mission to involve a crewed lunar landing.

Artemis III NASA to announce sites on Moon's South Pole where humans will land gcw
First Published Aug 19, 2022, 3:59 PM IST

The American space agency is prepared to reveal the potential landing site on the Moon for next crew missions as NASA gets closer to launching the Space Launch System (SLS), which will start the process for humans to return to the Moon in the next two years.

On Friday, NASA will hold a briefing to reveal the places around the lunar South Pole that the organisation has chosen as prospective landing sites for astronauts as part of the Artemis III mission. The Artemis-III mission, which will include astronauts, is anticipated to launch in 2025, completing a five-decade gap since the Apollo flights were suspended.

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There are many potential landing locations within each zone, according to a statement from NASA. The space agency further stated that each of the locations chosen, from which particular landing sites might be chosen, is of scientific significance and was assessed based on topography, communications, and lighting conditions, as well as suitability for achieving scientific goals. While the potential destinations are being revealed for now, a wider consultation with the scientific community will be conducted to look at the missions' long-term goals. 

On August 29, the spacecraft will launch on a 42-day voyage that will take it past the Moon and back. The 322-foot-tall (98-meter) rocket will launch on its maiden journey into orbit without any people on board. For NASA's Artemis programme, the United States' multibillion-dollar endeavour to send people back to the moon's surface so they may train for future trips to Mars, it will be a key, long-delayed demonstration trip to the moon.

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NASA will send the first woman and the first person of colour to the Moon with the Artemis missions, laying the groundwork for a sustained lunar presence and acting as a springboard for astronauts to travel to Mars. The unmanned test flight of NASA's Space Launch System rocket, which will carry an empty Orion crew capsule on a round-trip to the moon and back to test a number of crucial technologies, is scheduled to happen later this month. The Artemis 1 mission, if successful, will prepare the way for the first round-trip lunar journey by humans in 2024 and the following landing in 2025.

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