NASA plans to change the way we travel to the moon; know how

NASA’s continued mission to land astronauts on the moon will be different from the end of 1972. Instead of flying directly to the moon, the spacecraft will be renewed in transit – a process innovations that could change the way humans explore the cosmos.

In addition to being able to make regular trips to the moon less expensive, in-flight refueling could enable missions deep into space. NASA is investing billions of dollars to make this technology a reality: earlier this year, the space agency awarded a $3.4 billion contract to Blue Origin, a company that of Jeff Bezos.

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Contracts previously worth $4 billion were awarded to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which is scheduled to fly the first two missions later this decade, followed by Blue Origin.

nasa blue origin
Photo: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

However, while SpaceX plans to refuel its Starship spacecraft in low-Earth orbit with a fleet of tankers, Blue Origin presents something different: a reusable lunar lander that will stay put in orbit around the moon on a trip to the lunar surface.

The company is also working on a resupply ship called a “cislunar transporter” that will transport fuel from Earth’s orbit to the asteroid, where it will be attached to the lunar module.

Or plano from Blue Origin

Here’s a look at Blue Origin’s plan that NASA received, according to a report from the Washington Post:

  1. Launch to the moon
    • Blue Origin’s lunar lander, called Blue Moon, will be about 52 feet tall, with four legs. It will be launched on Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket.
    • The lunar module will fly directly to the moon and remain in the lunar orbit, where it will wait for refueling from the cislunar transporter.
  2. Cislunar conveyor assembly
    • Blue Origin will then launch both of the cislunar spacecraft into the low Earth orbit on a pair of New Glenn rockets. Once in Earth’s orbit, they will dock and then refueled by another Glenn rocket.
    • When all the fuel, the cislunar transporter will fly to the moon to rendezvous with the Blue Moon.
    • After refueling, Blue Moon will dock with Gateway, a small space station that NASA plans to install inside the star. After that, he will wait for the arrival of the astronauts.
    • The crewed Orion capsule will launch on top of the Space Launch System rocket and fly to the Gateway.
    • There, astronauts will transfer from Orion to Blue Moon at the gate.
    • The blue moon will separate from the gate and prepare to travel to the moon’s surface.
  3. The hole is still there
    • Astronauts will be in the lunar module when it descends to the moon’s surface.
    • Aim for sunshine for a week or more.
    • When the mission is complete, the Blue Moon will take off to take the passengers back to the gate.
    • There, they will re-enter the Orion capsule to begin the journey back to Earth.
    • The lunar module will remain inside the star, while the cislunar carrier will return to low Earth orbit to await its next mission.

NASA hopes to find water in the form of ice in the permanent atmosphere at the moon’s south pole. Water is important not only to sustain human life; its components, hydrogen and oxygen, can be used as rocket fuel.

That’s why Blue Origin claims to power its solar module with liquid hydrogen and oxygen. A reusable spacecraft can be used over and over again, reducing the cost of space travel, something NASA hopes will allow a permanent presence on the moon and its orbit.

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