UNITED STATES: NASA is set to announce the names of the four astronauts who will lead humanity’s return to the Moon for the first time in over half a century.
The announcement is expected to be made on Monday, April 3 (today), as per NASA’s tweet. The Artemis-II mission, a round-trip around the Moon that will prepare the way for the mission’s third iteration, Artemis-III, in which astronauts would set foot on the Moon, will be boarded by the four astronauts.
The Artemis Team, comprised of 18 astronauts chosen by NASA from its corps, will help prepare the path for the upcoming manned lunar missions. The final 4 astronauts will be selected from this group of 18.
According to NASA, the astronauts on the Artemis crew have a variety of educational backgrounds, areas of specialization, and levels of experience.
By the end of the decade, the Artemis programme hopes to establish a lasting human presence on the Moon by sending the first man and woman there in 2024.
During the Apollo mission more than 50 years ago, people last travelled to the Moon. The Artemis programme aims to surpass that accomplishment through global cooperation and the application of contemporary technology.
The Orion spacecraft, which will take the four astronauts to the Moon, is shorter and slimmer than the Saturn V rockets that launched the Apollo astronauts. The spacecraft is named after the constellation Orion and is roomier than Apollo’s capsule, seating four astronauts instead of three.
NASA launched a full-size dummy in an orange flight suit with Orion on the Artemis-I mission, collecting data to help improve the safety and comfort of astronauts.
The Artemis-II mission, which will take four astronauts on a 10-day-long orbit around the Moon and safely return them to Earth, will pave the way for the Artemis-III mission, where humans will land on the lunar surface.
The announcement of the names of the four astronauts is highly anticipated and will be a significant milestone in the Artemis programme.
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