NASA Will Send the First Spacecraft to the Dark Side of the Moon
With the goal to further understand Earth’s nearest neighbor.
Making history once again, NASA has announced that it is planning a mission to the dark side of the moon.
Three commercial delivery missions will be sent to the moon’s surface, which will be spread out across multiple trips per year. The first two payload suites have been assigned to the Schrödinger basin, the far side of the moon, also known as “a large impact crater on the far side of the moon near the lunar South Pole,” according to NASA.
One of the payloads will contain two seismometers – the vertical Very Broadband seismometer and the Short Period sensor – as part of its Artemis approach, which aims to put astronauts back on the moon long-term. As for the second payload, it will deliver the Lunar Instrumentation for Thermal Exploration with Rapidity pneumatic drill and the Lunar Magnetotelluric Sounder. This particular payload will look into the heat flow and electrical conductivity of the lunar interior in the Schrödinger basin.
“These investigations demonstrate the power of CLPS to deliver big science in small packages, providing access to the lunar surface to address high priority science goals for the Moon,” Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, shared in a statement. “When scientists analyze these new data alongside lunar samples returned from Apollo and data from our many orbital missions, they will advance our knowledge of the lunar surface and interior, and increase our understanding of crucial phenomenon such as space weathering to inform future crewed missions to the Moon and beyond.”
Head over to NASA’s website to learn more about its mission.
In other space-related news, Blue Origin has sold the first seat on its maiden voyage for $28 million USD.