In a context of fluctuating political leadership, uncertain budgets and an ongoing pandemic, as well as the many delays suffered by both the SLS and Orion programs, it is far from certain that Artemis will stay on track. .
“So far this has been an extremely expensive affair,” says Rubio. “But I think it’s been proven time and time again that if you do hard things and challenge yourself as a humanity to do the greatest thing, you come together. And that leads us to develop new technologies and new ideas.
View from the moon
Until scientific objectives for Artemis III, featured this week, includes collecting and collecting more Moon Rocks on Earth. Astronauts on the mission will also study the past of asteroid impacts on Earth and the Moon and search for chemical compounds beneath the lunar surface, including water ice. Ultimately, NASA hopes to collect ice on the moon that can be used to make it happen. rocket fuel and the supply of oxygen to life support systems.
While all of the astronauts who spoke with National Geographic insisted that the success of their lunar mission was their number one priority, they said that with luck they wanted to have fun there too.
“I would really like to jump – you know, try to jump as high as you can,” Mann says. “God forbid that they give us a kind of moon cart,” says Rubio. “As important as science is, I think everyone in a cart like this would love to shoot a donut on the moon.”
According to Meir, she would fully appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of seeing Earth from the lunar surface. “I really wish I could catch all the eyes of everyone on Earth to enjoy this sight together,” she says. “The image of Earth that I had of the International Space Station was already so great to me, in that you realize the fragility of our planet, the beauty of the Earth, that we must protect it and that we are all connected. “
But for now, Artemis ‘astronauts are focused on setting up the following’Daring step‘ in the space. And, like Mann and his eight-year-old son, they sometimes stare at the moon.
“We sit outside a lot and we love looking at the stars and the moon – but now I think we’re looking with a slightly different light in our eyes, a slightly different twinkle,” she says. “I hope one day he will see his mother fly and walk on the moon.”
NASA astronauts for the Artemis program:
Joe just (Astronaut class 2004, 306 days in space)
Kayla barron (astronaut class of 2017)
Raja Chari | (astronaut class of 2017)
Matthew dominick (astronaut class of 2017)
Victor glover (astronaut class of 2013, currently on board the ISS)
Woody hoburg (astronaut class of 2017)
Jonny kim (astronaut class of 2017)
Christina koch (astronaut class of 2013, 328 days in space)
Kjell Lindgren (astronaut class of 2009, 141 days in space)
Nicole mann (astronaut class of 2013)
Anne McClain (astronaut class of 2013, 204 days in space)
Jessica meir (astronaut class of 2013, 205 days in space)
Jasmin moghbeli (astronaut class of 2017)
Kate rubins (Astronaut class 2009, currently on board the ISS)
Frank rubio (astronaut class of 2017)
Scott Tingle (Astronaut class 2009, 168 days in space)
Jessica watkins (astronaut class of 2017)
Stephanie Wilson (astronaut class of 1996, 43 days in space)
This article originally appeared in English on NationalGeographic.com
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