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NASA landed payloads on the far side of the moon for the first time



NASA has selected three new scientific payloads as part of its Lunar Cargo Trade Services initiative, which is part of the Artemis program. Of the three, they will land on the lunar hemisphere, which is always facing away from our planet. This will mark the first time NASA has landed payloads on the far side of the moon, and the goal is to gather data about the area as a potential future destination for Artemis astronauts.

The other side of the moon remains untouched by machines and spacecraft until the Chinese Chang’e-4 mission lands on it in 2019. There are still many things we need to know about the hemisphere before we start sending people to visit it. . One of the proposals chosen by NASA, for example, will land on an impact crater called the Schrödinger Basin to better understand tectonic activity on the other side.

Farside Seismic Suite, a jet lab project, will spend months collecting data using two seismometers. In addition to giving us more information about lunar tectonic activity, it is also expected to shed light on how the distant side is affected by small meteorites, as well as provide more data on the internal structure of the moon. The findings of this project will complement the seismic data collected from the other payload to the Schrödinger Basin: Lunar Internal Temperature and Materials. Equipped with two instruments, it will study the internal lunar heat flux and electrical conductivity.

However, one of the three selected proposals, called Moon Peak, will focus on Rainer Gamma ̵

1; one of the most visible lunar vortices on Earth. We still do not understand what lunar vortices are or how they form, but they are thought to be related to anomalies in the Moon’s magnetic field. Lunar Vertex, made up of a landing craft and a rover, will measure the magnetic field so scientists can study.

All three projects were presented to NASA as part of a call for proposals for payloads and lunar surface research (PRISM) last year. The teams are still negotiating with NASA on how much they will receive to implement their proposals, but the agency’s goal is to deliver the payload to its destination in 2024.

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