The space agencies of the United States and Canada present today the four astronauts who will travel to the Moon next year aboard the
mission , the first manned test of the program with which the Western space powers want to take humans to our satellite by first time in half a century.
The four occupants of the brand new Orion capsule, three Americans and one Canadian, were announced today at an event at the Johnson Space Center in Houston (USA) at five in the afternoon, Spanish peninsular time.
mission is the first manned test of the Orion space capsule and the SLS rocket, the most powerful in history.
The project intends to establish inhabited colonies on the Moon as a previous step to bring humans to Mars in the coming decades.
If all goes well, the
will be released at the end of next year.
The crew will travel to the Moon, around it and return to Earth in about ten days.
The mission will test all the systems that allow astronauts to live in the capsule.
Europa contributes an essential part of the ship: its service module that provides air, water, electricity, propulsion and temperature control to the crew capsule.
The most powerful rockets in history speed up the race to the Moon
Howard Hu, head of NASA's Orion program, explained to EL PAÍS a few days ago what the new ship is like inside.
“The space is like that of an SUV, a big car.
As you enter through the hatch, at your feet is the bathroom door, which is the size of a small phone booth.
There are two rows of two seats, one on top of the other, like bunk beds.
In the first two will go the commander and the pilot.
They will be able to see the entire control console, which will help them guide the ship.
Once in orbit, they will float weightlessly and the seats will fold up and stow away to make room.
It is a very cozy ship, with its kitchen to heat food and the bathroom in a separate room”.
It is the first time NASA has included something like this on a spacecraft to the Moon.
50 years ago, the Apollo astronauts, all men,
is a crucial step so that, one year later,
allows the first woman and the first non-white person to set foot on the surface of the satellite 53 years after the last visit, carried out by two white men during the Apollo
: Gene Cernan —died in 2017— and Harrison Schmitt.
The Artemis program comes at a time of peak interest in the Moon and its resources, including the large reservoirs of frozen water at the South Pole, where South Pole crew members will land.
That water will be crucial to sustain inhabited colonies and to make rocket fuel that can reach Mars.
The Western powers dispute with China the exploration and exploitation of these resources.
Although the Asian country is not as advanced as its rivals, China is making first-class discoveries with its unmanned probes.
A few days ago, the Asian country revealed the probable origin of the water on the Moon and stated that there is much more than previously thought.
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