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NASA reveals plans for 'Artemis Base Camp' on the moon that help astronauts get ready for Mars

NASA has released a detailed plan for an 'Artemis Base Camp' that will be home to first woman and next man on the moon in 2024.

The 13-page document highlights elements such as a terrain vehicle for transporting the astronauts around the landing zone, a permanent habit and a mobility platform to travel across the lunar surface.

The plans suggest a crew of four astronauts would call the moon home for a week at a time, but also describes accommodations with water, waste disposal systems and radiation shields if their time is extended.

The Artemis mission will use the moon as its stepping stone, allowing the crew to test robots and other technologies before exploring farther into the solar system, with Mars being their next stop.

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NASA has released a detailed plan for an 'Artemis Base Camp' that will be home to first woman and next man on the moon in 2024. The 13-page document highlights elements such as a terrain vehicle for transporting the astronauts around the landing zone, a permanent habit and a mobility platform to travel across the lunar surface

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: 'After 20 years of continuously living in low-Earth orbit, we're now ready for the next great challenge of space exploration – the development of a sustained presence on and around the Moon.'

'For years to come, Artemis will serve as our North Star as we continue to work toward even greater exploration of the Moon, where we will demonstrate key elements needed for the first human mission to Mars.'

The last manned Moon landing happened in 1972, as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

There have only been six times that astronauts have walked on the Moon, all of which were carried out by NASA as part of its Apollo program.

The Artemis mission will build off these past efforts and push lunar exploration to new heights.

Astronauts involved in the Artemis mission will use their stay on the moon to prepare for their trip to Mars. They will be testing a range of new technologies for include lunar dust mitigation, enabling operations in extreme environments and fuel, water and oxygen production

And NASA's new report highlights the core elements needed to bring the base to life.

It describes two vehicles that would be used by the crew to get around the lunar surface.

The second would be a larger habitable vehicle with amenities, allowing the crew to travel for up to 45-days.

NASA will also design a foundation surface habitat, which will be setup in the south pole region of the moon.

'Combined with supporting infrastructure added over time such as communications, power, radiation shielding, a landing pad, waste disposal, and storage planning – these elements comprise a sustained capability on the Moon that can be revisited and built upon over the coming decades, reads the report.

Astronauts involved in the Artemis mission will use their stay on the moon to prepare for their trip to Mars.

The Artemis mission will use the moon as its stepping stone, allowing the crew to test robots and other technologies before exploring farther into the solar system, with Mars being their next stop

They will be testing a range of new technologies for include lunar dust mitigation, enabling operations in extreme environments and fuel, water and oxygen production.

NASA hopes the team will successful develop advanced solar collection and a small, lightweight fission power system to support even longer-duration missions and operations on the Moon, and eventually for Mars and beyond.

'The U.S. is still the only nation to have successfully landed humans on the Moon and spacecraft on the surface of Mars,' the report states.

'As other nations increasingly move out into space, American leadership is now called for to lead the next phase of humanity's quest to open up the future to endless discovery and growth.'

WHAT IS NASA'S ARTEMIS MISSION TO THE MOON?

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 -  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.

Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy. 

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