A recent announcement claims that NASA plans mission to return to the moon during a flight taking place in 2021. Officials from NASA explained that the costs of such a mission would be a lot cheaper than other projects of the administration.
NASA has planned for a very long time its mission on Mars in 2030, but is now also hoping to return humans to the moon soon and creating a new space station. Numbers revealed that the price of this mission would be a lot cheaper than other similar ones, because it would only require $10 billion in order to be up and running.
NASA has been able to keep the costs down for the upcoming lunar mission by making deals with two commercial partners. The partners were given $5 billion in order to create their own lunar lander as well as a commercial spaceship for the mission’s crew. NASA justified its choice of selecting two partners by stating that just one would not have been enough to reach the objectives. The company said that they prefer to face redundancy than problems coming from the lack of materials or resources.
While the project hasn’t been approved yet, if it would be supported, the Moon base could be possible in only a few years. NASA used a study called NexGen in order to map the Moon and they came to the conclusion that a mission such as this one would be possible on the lunar surface before the year 2017.
Once the rovers make their way onto the Moon, the first thing that the scientists would do would be to analyze the planet’s surface for trace amounts of hydrogen. The regions at the poles are believed to have more hydrogen and thus, the rovers will first search around those areas.
More researches will be conducted on the lunar surface in 2018 and 2019, in order for experts to understand where the best possible place is for constructing a base for humans. They will begin the construction of the human base in 2021, as soon as NASA will have enough understanding of the soil on the Moon. And by the end of the same year, four astronauts will be sent out onto the Moon, similar to how the International Space Station case was handled.
NASA is currently analyzing a number of risks before approving the mission. The administration is particularly interested in the possible collateral losses of humans and machines in the construction of the base. But along these delicate issues, the scientists must also take into consideration the cost of such a mission, particularly since it may or may not be funded by the government.
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