Nasa has revealed plans to set up an astronaut base on the moon as part of its Artemis mission to return to the lunar surface.
The US space agency has set out plans to return to the moon by 2024 and wants to build ‘Artemis Base Camp’ to allow humans to live on the desolate surface.
The habitat could potentially be located in the Shackleton Crater on the moon’s south pole and would allow for up to four astronauts to live there for a week.
As well as the main base, Nasa could also house two vehicles on the moon that astronauts would use to get around. The first would be used for astronauts to move themselves around the base but the second is described as a habitable mobility platform. That would be pressurised and allow astronauts to make longer trips out across the moon’s surface.
The base and the vehicles are outlined in a 13-page report from Nasa called the ‘Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development’ and explains that Artemis astronauts could use the moon base as a staging post for an eventual mission to Mars.
‘In time, Artemis Base Camp might also include a hopper that could deliver science and technology payloads all over the moon and which could be operated by crew at Artemis Base Camp and refueled using locally sourced propellant,’ Nasa wrote.
‘A lunar far-side radio telescope could also be remotely emplaced and operated from Artemis Base Camp — a sort of backyard radio-telescope at our first encampment on the moon,’ the agency added.
In February, the space agency put out a call for budding space travellers to take part in its Artemis missions.
‘As NASA prepares to launch American astronauts this year on American rockets from American soil to the International Space Station – with an eye toward the Moon and Mars – the agency is announcing it will accept applications March 2 to 31 for the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts,’ Nasa wrote.
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