Why Does NASA see Moon as a Stepping Stone?
- NASA’s Artemis program is starting to send humans to the moon for the first time.
- If everything goes as per plan, the milestone will lead to the first human to step on the surface of Mars.
With NASA’s Artemis program gearing up to send humans back to the moon for the first time in over half a century, the next era of crewed space exploration is about to dawn. And this milestone will gradually lead to the first human step on the surface of Mars if all goes according to plan.
On 29th Aug, the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built by humanity, is scheduled to blast off from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, leading off the Artemis 1 mission. NASA see moon as a stepping stone to lead the future.
The primary payload of the SLS will be the Orion spacecraft, which will be sent farther into space than any vehicle intended for humans has ever traveled before. It will serve as a crucial test for future Artemis missions that will see Orion carry a woman and a person of color to the surface of the moon for the first time.
As Jim Bridenstine, chief of the then-agency said in 2018, NASA sees the moon as a “proving ground” for the human exploration of Mars.
Earlier this year, NASA released its “moon to Mars” objectives, which identified 50 key points that fall under the broad categories of exploration, transportation, habitation, moon and Mars infrastructure, operations, and science.
In a statement, Jim Free, associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said that these objectives would move them toward their first analog Mars mission with a crew in space and prepare them for the first human mission to the surface of the Red Planet, Mars.
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