NASA has chosen three new scientific payloads under its Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, which is part of the Artemis program. Three three, two land on the lunar hemisphere that is still far away from our planet. It will mark the first time NASA has landed payloads on the far side of the The moon, and the goal is to collect data on the area as a potential future destination for Artemis astronauts.
The far side of the Moon has remained intact from spacecraft and vehicles until China’s Chang’e-4 mission. he landed about this in 2019. There is also a lot we need to find out about the hemisphere before we start sending man to visit it. One of the proposals that NASA has chosen, for example, will land on an impact crater called the Schrödinger Basin to better understand the tectonic activity of the far side.
The Farside Seismic Suite, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory project, will spend months collecting data using two seismometers. In addition to giving more information about the lunar tectonic activity, it is also planned to explain how the far side is influenced by small meteorites, in addition to providing more data on the internal structure of the Moon. The results of this project will complement the seismic data collected from the other payload heading towards the Schrödinger Basin: the Lunar Inner Temperament and the Suite Material. Equipped with two instruments, it will investigate the internal lunar heat flow and electrical conductivity.
One of the three proposed spacecraft called the Lunar Vertex, however, will head toward Reiner Gamma – one of the most visible lunar turbines from Earth. We don’t even understand what lunar turbines are or how they form, but they are believed to be related to anomalies with the Moon’s magnetic field. Lunar Vertex, consisting of a lander and a rover, will take measurements of the magnetic field to be studied by scientists.
All three projects were submitted to NASA as part of the application for proposals for payloads and research on the surface of the moon (PRISM) last year. Teams are still negotiating with NASA as to how they are going to make their proposals a reality, but the agency’s goal is to deliver the payloads to their destination by 2024.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, you can earn an affiliate commission.