NASA To Put First Woman On The Moon During 2024 Mission
Administrator Jim Bridenstine unveiled the calendar for the program on Thursday and revealed that an Orion capsule named Artemis 3 will return astronauts on the moon for the first time in half a century.
The mission, which is named after the Greek goddess of hunting, wilderness and the moon, will follow-on from Apollo - a six flight program that put 12 men on the moon 50 years ago.
NASA hasn't confirmed the female astronaut who will be taking on this mission yet.
Aside from the first moon landing in more than five decades, the 'Artemis' program includes eight scheduled launches and a mini station in lunar orbit by 2024.
The NASA administrator announced that Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the moon planned for 2020 to begin the building blocks for the planned 2024 mission.
The second major launch, Artemis 2, is planned for 2022 and will orbit the moon with a crew, while Artemis 3 will put astronauts, including the yet unknown female crew member, on lunar soil for the first time in half a century in 2024.
In one of the first steps of our #Moon2024 plans, we announced the selection of @Maxar Technologies to develop and launch the first element of our lunar Gateway, which will be the staging point to send @NASA_Astronauts to the Moon's surface. Find out more: https://t.co/sFVWYbGTN1 pic.twitter.com/Y1MooHP5Q6
- NASA (@NASA) May 23, 2019
There will also be five additional launches between 2022 and 2024, which will build on the three major missions and carry the building blocks of the lunar mini station.
These missions will be carried out by private space companies contracted by NASA.
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The announcement come two months after NASA was forced to pull its first ever all-female space walk because of issues with the spacesuit sizes.
Anne McClain and Christina Koch were scheduled to install powerful lithium-ion batteries at the International Space Station (ISS) in March, but plans were aborted after the suit fiasco.
Both Koch and McLain needed a medium-sized suit last minute, but there was only one available.
According to a press release at the time, McClain realised "during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso - essentially the shirt of the spacesuit - fits her best".
McLain had trained in both medium and large spacesuits in the past, but only one medium-sized torso was ready for use at the time of the mission, and it went to Koch.
"Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, 29 March, Koch will wear it," NASA explained further.
The space agency then announced that Koch would complete the spacewalk with her male colleague, Nick Hague.
Regardless of recent issues, it's definitely one small step for woman, one giant leap for womenkind!
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
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