NASA announces new International Mission

Alina Duran, Staff Writer

NASA has recently announced a new mission called “Artemis 2”  by MMX, which stands for Martian Moons Exploration. There are two Martian moons labeled Phobos and Deimos. It is expected that in November of 2024, JAXA, a spacecraft of Japan, will launch. The main objective of this mission is to collect samples of these moons to gain more information on these “ terrestrial planets.” In addition, these collections will be studied to determine whether they are created from asteroids or by fragments of a collision.

Because there is a lot still unknown about life outside of Earth, many experts feel this project to be important as this mission will further improve scientific technology and create new techniques for sampling. According to The Planetary Society, this mission will be set to launch in 2024, and after the samples are tested, they will return in 2029. When our solar system began to expand, inner planets were impacted by asteroids and comets, which may have been a factor in what brought the two main life ingredients, water, and organics, to Earth. It was rumored that Mars might have been affected with similar results, thus raising more questions.

Finding out about the origin of these two moons will give scientists more information about the solar system before life on Earth. This problematic mission is expected to cost a high total of about $280 billion. SimpleX, an Innovative missions exploration, was one of the first to get the mission development as it gave $8.3 million in funds. Mars is Earth’s closest planet at a distance of 140 miles away. On December 6, 2021, NASA released a statement that announced ten new candidates who will be the next leaders of NASA’s future explorations. A total of six men and four women were chosen amongst the 12,000 that applied. These astronauts were given the title of the “So-called Artemis Generation.” This name concerns NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send the first woman and person of color to explore further than our atmosphere.

The Director of NASA’s Space Center stated, “ These NASA astronauts will plan, train and fly missions to the International Space Station and the moon under Artemis, and eventually to Mars.” On Monday, April 2, 2023, NASA released the names of the four astronauts who will lead this Mars Mission: Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist Christina, Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen. The exploration is scheduled to last about ten days from Earth to Mars. Just before announcing the crew, Bill Nelson stated, “ Artemis 2 will carry the hopes of millions of people worldwide”. “It was a profound moment,” Pilot Glover said. As this is anticipated, the astronauts are set to train with Orion Spacecraft simulators and launch-related training. This will be the first mission in over 50 years where astronauts will be sent to the moon. “We need to celebrate this moment in human history…It is the next step to get humanity to Mars”. Glover stated.