In decisive coincidence with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, different nations are ready to launch their rockets to try out a new moon. As China's Chan-4 probe begins to explore its hidden pole, Russia and the United States move their calendar dates to await their presence. Robotic missions are expected from 2020, focusing on the research of its resources, to prepare the surface for continued human presence and training astronauts for future missions on Mars. It seems that everything has happened suddenly, but it happens that this "new war" between the forces that was silent, from the Chinese feats, has entered a phase of acceleration.
In this new world order, which seeks to equalize cosmic powers, China is becoming an increasingly powerful force, Russia is dreaming to regain the prestige of the galaxy, and the United States is showing signs of weakness. This escalation is coupled with the European Space Agency (ESA), which this week reaffirmed its intention to create a lunar settlement, joined by India and Israel, who are trying to show the extent of their technological power.
Chinese researcher Yutu 2 goes through the hidden side of the Moon (CNSA) through the CNS / AFP)
"There is a political component in this space race, and the main scientific goals have an economic will: on the one hand China must show that it is a superpower and has enough space research resources. President Trump's intention to return to the moon. These projects have been decades of technical preparation and the budget for NASA's upcoming missions has already been determined. Russia, on the other hand, is the other big competitor now with Putin going to take his giant place although it requires a big investment, "explains Pablo Mawas, Ph.D., physicist and director of the Star, Exoplanet and Astrobiology Group of the IAFE / Conicet Institute of Astronomy and Space Physics.
The Lunar-Gateway Orbital (LOP-G) spacecraft platform is NASA's main goal
If we look at the edge of the horizon, another reason for the recapture is that Earth's natural satellite, divided by 384,000 kilometers, it can function as an intermediary station for the first trip to Mars with people. Thus ships will have to overcome only one sixth of Earth's gravity to leave this body.
High resolution Moon photos taken from the Chinese Chan's probe are 3.
"We still need to know the amount of water – in the form of ice – it's on the moon. The next missions are to study the soil (regoliths) to know the proportions of water, hydrogen and helium there. It is believed that these materials can be used as a fuel source. The intention is to "become independent" from the Earth and directly to fly from the Moon to Mars or other destinations. It's not science fiction, but something real to think about lunar bases like fueling centers"Warns Mauro Spaniolo, a planetary geologist from the Andean Studies Institute" Don Pablo Gruber "(DEAN -CONICET).
NASA plans to cross the moon again in 2026
With the construction of the first Orbital Lunar Gateway (LOP-G)), NASA has set it up term of 20 years of IEE and also upon our return to our natural companion. Despite the impetus Trump gave to the project, the deadlines were set before the President's admission. The first power module will be released in 2022, after two more years, the LOP-G will start to travel around the moon, and if everything follows the established guidelines, by 2026, the astronauts will once again set foot on the star.
Roscosmos agency plans start with the Luna 25 probe (Moon-Globe)
NASA will use this platform as a laboratory to study the effects caused by deep space – from radiation to microgravity – for long periods of time on living organisms. But it will also be used to transport cargo and replenish future missions.
Illustration of the ship with which Elon Musk will take tourists to the moon
The other side of research is the commercial operations that surround the satellite. NASA, more than once, has opened the door to several business partners that help bring loads to the ISS. Both SpaceX, by Elon Musk; Son Origin, by Maggot Jeff Bezos; such as Virgin Galactic, by Richard Branson, are ready to take advantage of tourism and lunar yields.
"With the arrival of private companies, it becomes inevitable to create a regulation and a protocol to which everyone has to adapt, what will happen if the poor sterilization of the ship leads to reverse pollution, and in future trips life is found on Mars and We have accepted , or even worse, that existing life is destroyed by terrestrial bacteria, and these measures of protection are sought to avoid contamination of neighboring celestial bodies by terrestrial micro-organisms, "warns Mawas.
The Chinese explorer of the Moon Jutun-2 began exploring the land at the landing site of Chang's Mission. CNSA
While Chang-e-4's landing was just the previous step to an ambitious campaign in which the Chinese intend to install a base at the South Pole of the MoonFor this purpose, the Yutu-2 rifle, equipped with a penetrating ground radar that can enter 100 meters and two spectrometers to analyze the chemical signature of the terrain.
"At a geophysical level we still need to know a lot; from the moon's interior to its evolution. And while there is seismic evidence, there is evidence that there are still small movements. Before creating a base, it is crucial to set up a global network of seismographs. Small shortcomings, which could have been very recent, were found in small images. As for the soil, there is a kind of terrain known as KREEP (K for potassium, REE for rare earths and P for phosphorus), whose origin and distribution are not yet understood. It is important to study it in order to know how and why it was formed, and this could provide insight into the thermal status of the moon in the past and present, "Spaniolo describes.
Less than a year ago, in April 2018, despite international sanctions, Vladimir Putin said Russia plans to send an astronaut to the Moon by 2030 and confirmed the tests of the new Ferry Federation, the construction of a controlled missile for moon flights, and the construction of a new 700 square kilometer space center in Amur near the China border. This was not a new initiative, and in 2015 it was announced that Russia is resuming the space race.
So far, Roscosmos's plans start with Luna 25 (Luna-Glob) in 2020 to explore the surface of the polar regions, followed by Luna 26 orbiter (Luna-Resurs 1) in 2022. Two years later, take off the moon 27 (Moon-Resource 2), a moon-like probe 25 that has to have a workout and other tools from the European Space Agency (ESA). At the end of the decade, Luna 28 (Luna-Grunt) will take a sample, although the development of this project has not yet been approved.
Apollo 11 is the first ship to reach the moon with astronauts.
AFP PHOTO /
When on July 20, 1969, the late astronaut Neil Armstrong, smiling, emerged from the hatch of Apollo 11 and said it was "a small step for man, but a big leap for mankind," one of the great controversies of all time began. While one part of humanity believed fervently what he saw, another part did not believe that man had come to the moon.
In this sense, the director of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, said, it is not known whether the moon mission proposal, which was responsible for verifying whether the moon landing of Apollo 11 was or was not real, was made funny.
"We have established this goal: to fly and check whether the Americans were there or not," Rogozin said, following the question of whether NASA had reached the moon or not.
Another factor for this contradiction was the astronomer Philippe Lee, who in his book "Bad Astronomy" notes that NASA has found a fatal error in its Apollo 11 rocket, so she cast her without a crew while sending the Nevada Desert astronauts to simulate the entire space mission. He even claims that his own Stanley Kubrick suffered a fake landing in the moon in exchange for the special lenses needed to run Barry Lyndon.
However, the indisputable proof of human presence is the Laser Retro-Reflector Range (LR-3) that was placed on the moon surface. Its purpose is to reflect a beam of laser light ejected from the Earth to measure with great precision the distance the Moon is at a given moment. Similar measurements were made by a Soviet ruby laser team from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory.