2024 Artemis Landings Could Slip Because of a Lack of Spacesuits. Musk Offers to Develop Them

Artist's illustration of the new spacesuit NASA is designing for Artemis astronauts. It's called the xEMU,, or Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit. Image Credit: NASA

In March of 2019, NASA was directed to develop all the necessary equipment and planning to send astronauts back to the Moon by 2024. This plan, officially named Project Artemis, was part of an agency-wide shakeup designed to ensure that the long-awaited return to the Moon takes place sooner than NASA had originally planned. In accordance with their “Moon to Mars” framework, NASA hoped to assemble the Lunar Gateway first, then land astronauts on the surface by 2028.

Unfortunately, this ambitious proposal has led to all sorts of complications and forced NASA to shift certain priorities. Most recently, NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) submitted a report that indicated that their new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Units (xEMU) spacesuits will not be ready in time. The resulting delay has prompted Elon Musk to offer the services of SpaceX to expedite the spacesuit’s development and get Artemis back on schedule.

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Earth’s Oxygen Could be Making the Moon Rust

Enhanced map of hematite (red) on Moon using a spheric projection (nearside only). Credit: Shuai Li

It takes oxygen to make iron rust. So when scientists discovered hematite spread widely through lunar high latitudes, they were surprised. How did that happen?

A new study suggests that oxygen from Earth could be playing a role in rusting the Moon.

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The Moon is an Ideal Spot for a Gravitational Wave Observatory

High-resolution view of the lunar surface (JAXA/SELENE)

In the coming years, multiple space agencies will be sending missions (including astronauts) to the Moon’s southern polar region to conduct vital research. In addition to scouting resources in the area (in preparation for the construction of a lunar base) these missions will also investigate the possibility of conducting various scientific investigations on the far side of the Moon.

However, two prominent scientists (Dr. Karan Jani and Prof. Abraham Loeb) recently published a paper where they argue that another kind of astronomy could be conducted on the far side of the Moon – Gravitational Wave astronomy! As part of NASA’s Project Artemis, they explain how a Gravitational-wave Lunar Observatory for Cosmology (GLOC) would be ideal for exploring GW in the richest and most challenging frequencies.

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