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Sat Jun 12, 2021, 11:36 PM

NASA to land payloads on the far side of the Moon for the first time

Mariella Moon 1 day ago

NASA has chosen three new scientific payloads under its Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, which is part of the Artemis program. Of the three, two will be landing on the lunar hemisphere that always faces away from our planet. It will mark the first time NASA is landing payloads on the far side of the Moon, and the purpose is to gather data about the area as a potential future destination for Artemis astronauts.

The far side of the Moon remained untouched by machines and spacecraft until China's Chang'e-4 mission landed on it back in 2019. There's still a lot we need to find out about the hemisphere before we start sending humans to visit it. One of the proposals NASA picked, for instance, will land on an impact crater called Schrödinger basin to better understand tectonic activity on the far side.

The Farside Seismic Suite, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory project, will spend months collecting data using two seismometers. In addition to giving us more information on lunar tectonic activity, it's also expected to shed light on how the far side is impacted by small meteorites, as well as provide more data on the Moon's internal structure. The findings from this project will complement the seismic data collected by the other payload heading to the Schrödinger basin: The Lunar Interior Temperature and Materials Suite. Equipped with two instruments, it will investigate internal lunar heat flow and electrical conductivity.

One of the three chosen proposals called the Lunar Vertex, however, will head to Reiner Gamma — one of the most visible lunar swirls from Earth. We still don't understand what lunar swirls are or how they form, but they're believed to be related to anomalies with the Moon's magnetic field. Lunar Vertex, composed of a lander and a rover, will be taking measurements of the magnetic field for scientists to study.


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Reply NASA to land payloads on the far side of the Moon for the first time (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 12 OP
soothsayer Jun 13 #1
lastlib Jun 14 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 12:08 AM

1. Hope they bring a flashlight!

Yes I know it’s not really dark, but in honor of this and Superman day:

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 14, 2021, 04:35 PM

2. There is no dark side of the moon, really---

...matter of fact, it's ALL dark!

measuring lunar magnetic field--pls pay close attention to Tycho....

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