Saturday, July 20, 2024

Picture during NASA’s lunar mission tests


While training in Arizona for the next trip to the moon, NASA scientists working on the Artemis III mission captured a truly unique image: two astronauts simulating a moonwalk under the curious gaze of a cow drawn to their presence.

NASA | Photo by Josh Valcarcel, Arizona astronauts during Artemis III simulation

there picture Some are destined to make history, others will remain in the eyes of those who took them. Maybe this shot fromArizona He is one of these: the two nasa astronautsKate Robbins and Andre Douglas wearing fake space suitswhich simulates a “Walk on the Moon” In a volcanic field San Francisco, And in front of them is one fixed, unmoving thing. cow He fixes them with a look somewhere between curiosity and confusion.

They will have mocking spaceOr a cow’s gaze or both, but this photo was taken during a lunar exercise. May 14, 2024It’s so unique that it’s the same thing. NASA decided to publish it.and seize the opportunity to evaluate the work in progress in light of the launch. Artemis IIIa mission that should bring two astronauts into space in September 2026 (or possibly later). Lunafor the first time in more than 60 years. The astronauts’ names are not yet known.

Why was the picture taken?

Space travel requires Years and years of preparationand measurements and exercises. For obvious reasons, as in the case of Artemis III, However, training on the moon is impossible.:That’s why the team of scientists working on the mission, not just the astronauts, need it. place on earth Which offers properties as similar as possible to those they would find on the Moon.

That’s why, in May 2024, a group of scientists working on Artemis 3 moved for a few days to the San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona, a destination made by millions of years of volcanic eruptions. Geologically similar to the moon.

What are the exercises before a space mission?

For those who are not experts in this field, it may seem difficult to understand the point of conducting training on Earth to prepare for a trip to the moon. However, NASA researchers have managed to work this way Many aspects of the missionFor example, by having astronauts wear suits that mimic those they will wear in space, designers can test and improve them.

Those who care for the spacecraft’s components can instead monitor the spacecraft’s systems and practice recognizing the first signs of technical problems or potential hazards to the spacecraft. astronaut safetyWhile other scientists on the team, NASA explains, are using simulations to practice making geological observations from afar through the astronauts’ words (as they will have to do during a mission to the moon).

Then of course it’s still a simulation exercise, and being in space can never be the same as being on Earth: there’s no gravity, no trees in sight, and above all, no curious cows watching you.


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