Why Is NASA Going Back to the Moon?



Today's episode is brought to you by listerine ready tabs small discrete tabs, the transform from a solid to a liquid just to switch and swallow no sink required to get that just brushed clean feeling, and they pack a huge punch up to four hours of fresh breath, and the confidence that goes with it on the go wherever life takes you to a surprise meeting a date you want to freshen up for or just from one event to another try listerine ready tabs today. Find them near the mouthwash. Welcome to brain stuff from how stuff works. He brain stuff, Lauren Vogel bomb here. Nasa has announced that selected a dozen payloads of scientific equipment that it plans to fly to the moon on private commercial rockets and Landers the missions planned for later in two thousand nineteen are an early step toward achieving the space. Agency's overarching goal to send astronauts backed the moon via commercial space craft in twenty Twenty-eight necessary renewed focus on the moon reflects a late 2017 policy shift by the Trump administration which decided that these space agencies should return to the moon, which was last visited by Paolo seventeen astronauts back in December of nineteen seventy two. Previously. The Obama administration had abandoned a planned lunar mission, partly because of cost in favor of focusing upon going to Mars in the twenty thirties. We spoke with Steve Clark the deputy associate administrator for exploration in Nasr's science mission. Directorate he explained that the missions flown by commercial lunar payload services will include a mixture of scientific instruments and technology demonstrations, he said we want to fly a mixture as much as we can. So they collectively can provide data to the science community and to the folks who are designing the next human Lander the scientific instruments sent to the moon will be Clark said trying to characterize lunar surface looking for hydrogen molecules and actual traces of water or water ice in the soil and looking for various other elements there on the lunar surface. But those studies will do more than just add to our knowledge of earth's natural satellite. Nasa administrator, Jim Bryden Stein said in a press release. We know they're volatile is at the polls on the moon. Dan, and quite frankly that water ice could represent rocket fuel. If we have the capacity to generate rocket fuel from the surface of the moon and get them into orbit around the moon. We could use that to build a fuelling depot. On the technology side. One payload will include solar energy technology to attempt to advance the engineering of solar cells, hopefully, making the more efficient that open space missions that are dependent upon solar energy, but the work will have applications back on earth as well. Other technology being tested involves entry descent and landing systems, which will help improve the design of future lunar Landers, including the human Lander that eventually will take astronauts to lunar surface again necessary long range plan also calls for building a lunar orbital station in the twenty twenties which will serve as a platform. Both poor observing the lunar surface and staging manned exploration missions haven't instruments on the lunar surface as well as in orbit around the moon. We'll give humanity to new valuable vantage points from which to explore the moon and beyond unlike the Apollo program, the commercial space industry will be heavily involved in the effort. Transporting astronauts to the orbital station end down to the surface the agency. He already has announced plans to work with space companies to develop reusable lunar Landers those spacecraft could shuttle back and forth between the lunar orbital platform and the surface of the moon. We also spoke by E mail with Dale Scranton, the executive vice president of the national space Sidey, which is a nonprofit group whose goal is to promote a spacefaring civilization. He said that they support Nasr's strategy, quote, the fundamental advantage of a lunar orbital system in these support of lunar exploration and development is that it can be a gas station where reusable lunar Landers dock and are refueled NASA recently announced human land, a reference design, which features to reasonable components. The ascent stage and space tug along with a tanker to bring fuel to the lunar orbital station are constructive, but partial step in this direction at this point scrammed says that putting boots on the moon in the near future. No longer should be viewed as a desirable goal in itself. But rather as a means to further a larger plan of space colonization? He said humans on the moon should grow organically out of what we are doing on the moon not appear as a stunt and imitation of Apollo a to potential goals for lunar return include mining oxygen to fuel future Mars trips and building a radio telescope on the dark side of the moon to take advantage of the unique radio quiet on the side of the moon phases away from earth. Both of these goals will almost certainly include humans on the lunar surface. But boots are not the primary goal. We will certainly keep you in the loop. As more news comes to light. Today's episode was written by Patrick Jake, Hyder and produced by Tyler clang iheartmedia, and how stuff works for more on this. Unless of other topics that more than scratched the surface. Visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com. Hebron stuff instead of an ad today. I wanted to tell you about another podcast that I think you might like dressed the history of fashion, join fashion historians, April Callaghan and Cassidy Zachary twice a week as they explore. The who what when and why of what we wear the history of fashion is a history of capitalism and culture, power dynamics in gender relations of politics, religion, and technology, full episodes drop on Tuesdays and beginning with season to April and Cassidy answer your questions in a fashion history mystery, Minnesota every Thursday find dressed the history of fashion on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you get your podcasts.

Coming up next