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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

NASA to Launch First US Moon Landing in Decades with Science Experiments and Human Remains Aboard


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ​- The upcoming rocket launch is set⁢ to make history as it carries ‍the first‌ lunar ​lander to launch from the United States​ since NASA’s ​final Apollo mission‍ in 1972. The stakes⁣ are high, and the success⁤ of the rocket, ‍developed ​by the ‌joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing called United Launch Alliance, is crucial to that company’s future and its desire to chip​ away at SpaceX’s dominance in the commercial launch industry.

The lunar lander, built by‌ small Pittsburgh-based company Astrobotic Technology, ‍could become the first ‌commercially developed⁢ spacecraft to make a soft landing on the moon. This mission is part​ of NASA’s renewed efforts to explore the moon robotically before returning astronauts to the lunar surface later ‍this decade.

The Path Ahead

Experts across the space industry ‌have likened the odds ‍of ​successfully landing any spacecraft⁣ on the moon to flipping a coin. ⁢”This‍ really is like a 50-50 shots on goal kind of an approach‍ — where it’s really more​ about​ the industry ‌succeeding, not any specific one mission,” ‌said Astrobotic CEO ‍John Thornton.

Landing⁤ on the moon is a complex endeavor. If the‍ launch takes off as scheduled, the lunar lander will spend some time‌ in lunar orbit before attempting a touchdown⁣ on Feb.⁢ 23. The final moments ⁣before the spacecraft reaches the lunar surface will be‌ the most crucial.

A New Space Race

This ​mission will⁢ mark the first lunar landing attempt — robotic ‍or crewed — for the U.S. in five decades. And the ‍mission ⁣comes‍ amid a renewed international push to explore the‌ moon. Apart ‍from Peregrine, the space agency has contracts with Texas-based companies⁢ Firefly Aerospace and Intuitive Machines. The ⁣latter could launch its‌ lunar lander as​ soon ‍as⁤ mid-February.

Peregrine’s Science

For ‍this mission, Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander is heading for a lunar region called Sinus ​Viscositatis, otherwise known as the ‌”Bay of Stickiness.” The Peregrine lander will carry 10 science payloads,⁢ five of which⁤ are NASA-sponsored experiments. They include two instruments that will monitor the radiation ⁤environment, “helping us better prepare to send crewed ⁣missions back ⁢to the moon,” said Paul Niles, ⁣NASA’s‌ project scientist for the Commercial ​Lunar ‌Payload⁣ Services program.

Human​ Remains and Mementos

While NASA is ‍the primary ‌financial backer of the mission, the space agency is ‍just ‍one customer involved. Also‍ on board ⁢Peregrine will be ‌science experiments⁤ and​ commercial cargo from other⁢ nations, including ‍Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Notably, Peregrine will also carry human remains on behalf‌ of two commercial space burial companies ⁤—​ Elysium​ Space and Celestis.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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  1. Agree Exciting news! Can’t wait to see the outcome of these groundbreaking experiments and the significance of human remains on the Moon. NASA continues to push the boundaries of exploration.

  2. Disagree It’s a concerning decision to use the Moon as a graveyard for human remains. We should focus on preserving the sanctity of space exploration rather than treating it as a dumping ground.


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