Back in 1969, the NASA astronaut team incomposed of three people: Neil Armstrong, Edward Aldrin and Michael Collins landed on the surface of the satellite of our planet. There are a lot of rumors around this mission (including the version of full flight performance), but this is not about now. Most recently, the administration of US President Donald Trump said that as early as 2024, the aerospace agency could well organize a re-landing on the moon. However, this ambitious plan may face a number of problems.
Why is organizing a flight to the moon so difficult?
First, it’s about the deadlines. The four and a half to five years that remained until the target date may simply not be enough to prepare a full-fledged mission. Secondly, at the moment, NASA does not have a ready-made rocket that could deliver people to the surface of our satellite. Thirdly, NASA does not have the lunar module required for landing. The last two points may seem insignificant, because in 1969 there was both a rocket and a lunar module. Yes it is. Only at the end of the Apollo program, new versions of these spacecraft were not developed, and using outdated equipment is not the wisest decision.
Why can not postpone the flight?
It’s all a matter of five decades agospace race. The fact is that the aerospace companies of China are steadily approaching to also land on the moon. Moreover, the leadership of the Celestial Empire states that they are ready to do this already in the mid-2030s.
This is interesting: China sent a lunar rover on the reverse side of the moon.
And there is no reason not to believe it, since absolutelyRecently, the Chinese apparatus Chang'e-4 successfully landed on the so-called "dark side of the moon." And in December of this year, it is planned to launch the Chang'e-5, which should lay the foundation for the future lunar base. Therefore, in this case it is impossible for Americans to delay.
"I am sure that in the next 10-20 years wewe’ll see a Chinese astronaut landing on the moon, ”says Christophe Bayshl, a researcher at the London-based Space Policy and Law Institute.
How can NASA be on time?
The American Aerospace Agency doesa bet on the fact that he can be helped by numerous partners who will undertake some important tasks. Like carrying out various experiments on landing on the lunar surface. Back in May of this year, NASA signed contracts with three companies, each of which will conduct up to 14 experimental flights to the moon in order to test small robotic landing modules.
For example, one of the firms, Orbit Beyond of Edisonintends to send an aircraft to the moon in the third quarter of 2020. The probe will deliver some tools and modules for studying the moon, including for monitoring the level of space radiation. Over the next few years, private companies will continue to send dozens of lunar probes to Earth’s satellite.
The main problems of the lunar mission
NASA's biggest challenge in trying to returnthe moon could be the development of a large landing module. One of these could be Blue Moon from Blue Origin. But this model exists only in the form of a prototype and has not yet been tested in space, so that its participation in the mission so far is possible only "on paper."
However, China is not so smooth. Despite very ambitious plans and successes in the lunar program, China still does not have sufficient experience in such a long space travel and does not have (even “on paper”) technologies for landing and taking off the lunar module. Well, about the creation of a rocket for this mission do not forget.
Therefore, the winner of the new lunar race is not so clear. Follow the progress of events, as well as other news you can in our news channel in Telegram.