NASA Selects American Landing Sites on the Moon for Future Missions

NASA Selects American Landing Sites on the Moon for Future Missions

NASA Selects American Landing Sites on the Moon for Future Mission

NASA has found 13 landing sites near the lunar South Pole for the Artemis programme.

This is the first Artemis mission to land astronauts on the Moon, including the first woman.

Mark Kirasich: "We're one major leap closer to returning humans to the Moon since Apollo."

Each location is within 6° of the lunar South Pole. They have several geologic features.

Multiple regions allow for year-round launches because landing spots are tied to the launch window.

Scientists and engineers chose the regions. LRO data and lunar research literature were used.

The team analysed regions based on launch window availability and safe landing.

The researchers analysed SLS, Orion, and SpaceX's Starship human landing technologies to determine accessibility.

All of the locations being considered are near the lunar South Pole.

Landing near a permanently dark spot to allow a moonwalk while minimising disturbance.

By considering permanent shadows and other illumination conditions, the team found moonwalk zones.

All 13 regions have sites with constant sunlight during the 6.5-day Artemis III surface mission.

We can obtain oxygen and hydrogen for life support systems and fuel from lunar water ice.

NASA will hold conferences and workshops to discuss the 13 regions with the science and engineering communities.

NASA will choose Artemis III launch sites after evaluating launch dates, transfer trajectories, and surface conditions.