Apollo 11 levels a path from the moon to Mars
CNN Films "Apollo 11" examines the amusement of the first landing of humanity on the Moon through newly discovered and restored archive footage. Watch the TV premiere of this documentary on Sunday, June 23, at 9pm. ET / PT.
But why should we return to the moon? Many experts believe that this is necessary and overdue, especially since the desire to land people on Mars and to penetrate deeper into the solar system continues.
The search for human exploration never ended after Apollo was closed. Skylab, the shuttle program, the International Space Station and even robotic missions throughout the solar system have continued the spark that Apollo set off.
But since the Apollo 1
7 mission, when Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were on the moon, astronauts were no longer on the moon collecting samples of the lunar surface, conducting experiments and taking photos – including the famous "blue marble" – Image of the earth.
Cernan and Schmitt, the only scientist ever to walk on the moon, landed on 11 December 1972 in the Taurus Littrow Valley.
"America's challenge of today has determined the fate of tomorrow's man," said Cernan. "When we leave the moon and Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we have come, and, God willing, we will return with peace and hope for all humankind."
Forty-five years later, NASA announced the Moon-to-Mars initiative, now known as Artemis.
"President Donald Trump has asked NASA to accelerate our plans to return to the Moon and land people on the surface again by 2024," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a March statement. "With innovative new technologies and systems, we will explore more surface locations than ever thought possible, this time we will stay on the moon as we go to the Moon, and then we will become what we learn on the Moon , use it to use it. " The Next Big Jump – Send Astronauts to Mars "
The next five years will require commercial and international partnerships to develop an infrastructure on and around the moon, reusable spacecraft, sustainable architecture and ways to use the resources of the moon agency
And, as with Apollo, the relatively fast timetable for Artemis is expected to spark innovation, ambition, and opportunity.
Apollo opened the door
Entering the Moon gave us access to space  "The Apollo program has given us space," said Mason Peck, NASA's former chief technologist and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University. "These short visits to the Moon have NASA and the entire NASA Since then, space research has set a high standard. "
For Apollo to be possible, NASA needed a complex S ystem build up. The space navigation had to be configured. Although there was a basis for the mechanics of flight in the military, space was new territory. Everything was new. Apollo has even contributed to trigger the emergence of planetary science as a separate area.
"It really did build an infrastructure that did not exist," said Marshall Smith, director of NASA's Exploration of the Human Moon. The program boosted technology and the economy and allowed the return of lunar samples to Earth, allowing for a better understanding of the history of our solar system. "
When he worked for NASA in the 1960s, rocket developer Wernher von Braun had a vision for space exploration: building a space shuttle and a space station, followed by a flight to the Moon and Mars It was the beginning of our space exploration
] "NASA's DNA is human exploration," said Peck. "This DNA is Apollo and the man who does great things." space : "A search that will never end" "class =" media__image "src =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170221161852-trappist-1-planetary-system-large-169.jpg "/>
The Apollo missions went to the lunar equator, especially to the center of the side of the moon that faces the earth for communication. Since then, missions such as NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have orbited the moon and provided global mapping, s Timothy Swindle, director of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, said he shone light on places of interest Apollo could not reach. The lab was partially set up to support the Apollo moon landings, and Apollo samples are still being studied there.
The global mapping of the moon has aroused interest in Poles and territories that are in constant darkness, like craters that the sun can not reach. China's Chang's e4 mission has recently landed on the other side of the moon, but NASA still needs to get there.
Artemis and the Gate
Back to the moon to stay there, it will not be easy, but neither will the Apollo missions.
NASA's Moon Mars program will include the Orion spacecraft, the Gateway, and the Space Launch System rocket known as the SLS. One of the main features of the program is the sustainable exploration of space with reusable spacecraft and architectures.
The SLS rocket will be able to send Orion, astronauts, and large cargo to the moon at once, NASA said. In the future, robot missions to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn could be supported.
The Orion spacecraft can carry four crew members and support space missions, unlike earlier short-range vehicles.
Orion can dock at the Gateway, a spaceship that goes around the Moon and into orbit as a lunar outpost. About 250,000 miles from Earth, the gateway provides easier access to the entire lunar surface and potentially space exploration.
"This time we need to explore the moon," Swindle said. "With something like the Gateway, we would be able to gain a foothold anywhere on the Moon, and the Moon serves as a Rosetta Stone to understand the rest of the Solar System."
There are many reasons to return to the moon. It is an immutable geological time capsule full of resources, but also a good test nearby for the next step of space exploration: Mars.
"The Moon is a logical place to learn how to do things," said Mark Sykes, director of the Planetary Science Institute. "It's easier than going to Mars, but the moon is close and handy, and we can start building the infrastructure that makes Mars possible."
The moon is also a step "Half a century later, the return to the Moon overdue, "said Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences. "I would hope that it is a sustained effort, a long-term national commitment that includes international partnerships and public-private collaborations, a multi-dimensional lunar program would be quite exciting, and Apollo 11 landed on the moon five years after the first one The American Robot Probe has reached the surface, and this is an ambitious goal for the foreseeable future, bringing together science, technology, and the human mind. "
The focus is currently on the moon, but NASA sees these concepts as workable for a Mars mission Likewise.
"The goal is to develop systems that can be used as unaltered as possible in both locations," said Michelle Rucker, director of the Mars Integration Group.
In relation to the Moon and Mars The first charge starts will take place in front of the humans, and the SLS will have this ability to make a difficult start, Rucker said. The gateway could even be used as a focal point for the architecture required to stay on the Moon and Mars.
Journey to Mars
Many believe that Mars is the next logical step. It is relatively close, is not too hot, does not receive as much radiation as other planets and has a bit of atmosphere and gravity, Smith said. It is time to examine the Red Planet from a human perspective, and NASA is aiming for a manned mission in the 2030s.
But we are not here yet, because a mission to Mars brings with it a wealth of challenges that need to be mastered. There are about 26 months in which the planets are aligned exactly and it is easier to get between Mars and Earth.
"If you look at your vehicle's odometer to get to and from Mars, it's about 2,000 times to the moon and back," said Rucker. "We have to chase Mars around the sun and we need a reliable transport system in space."
NASA is concerned with solar electric drives, especially a hybrid system that uses a little chemical propulsion. High-energy outbreak, Rucker said. The gateway will use a solar electric drive, which will serve as a precursor to space transport.
The lander must be bigger too. The Curiosity Rover, the largest ever landed on Mars Rover, weighed about 1 ton. A manned mission to Mars will be about 20 times the Agency's estimated mission.
Experts are concerned with boarding, descent and landing technologies that may swell at boarding, slow down descent in the thin Martian atmosphere, and land substantial weight on the surface Mars resources, such as water, will be essential. During the Apollo missions, the astronauts brought everything they needed.
"It was like a road trip when we were driving with Apollo," said Rucker. "This will be more like a camping trip, where we will try to use what is available there."
Because a trip to Mars would not only take a few days, but actually make astronauts live on the surface Power has been another challenge for at least a year to overcome. Like Earth, Mars travels between day and night. It is also farther from the sun than the earth and can suffer dust storms, so solar energy is not the only or most reliable choice. NASA and the Department of Energy are working on a small reactor that could enable the construction of power plants.
The astronauts flying to Mars also need to be more diverse in every way, Peck said. You have to feel well, but you can also improvise and be independent. Some of them may need to be able to write or modify software or operate 3D printers, combining the mentality of a manufacturer and a survivor.
"It's not so much Apollo's skills as a Silicon Valley approach," he said.
But as much as the Apollo program sparked a wave of innovation that we could use on Earth, the return to the moon and, ultimately, the voyage to Mars will inspire even more.
"When you dream big, you can achieve what just seemed impossible," wrote Cheryl Warner, Artemis's Public Affairs Officer, in an e-mail. "NASA has proven this when it met President Kennedy's challenge to bring the Americans to the moon in a decade in the 1960s, with Apollo drawing the world's attention and the power of America's vision and technology Demonstrating to Inspire Generations of Great Achievements, Explorations, and Experiences Scientific Discovery Our goal with the Artemis program is to return to the moon and stay in a sustainable way, and on and around the moon, we will expand and expand our commercial and international partnerships the technologies, skills, and new business approaches for proving our next big leap forward to sending astronauts to Mars. "