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[–]nationalgeographic[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

To safely return humans to the moon, NASA's Artemis program went to the Arizona desert last October and tested the tools and procedures that astronauts will use on future moonwalks.

The main goal of this mission and other analog missions is not to train the astronauts, but to test everything else—from the chisels the moonwalkers will wield to the documentation that scientists back on Earth will use to catalog each excursion on the lunar surface.

As NASA and its international partners prepare to return to the lunar surface, they are also readying technologies that could enable a whole new era of exploration. In 2020, Japan’s space agency partnered with Toyota to build a crewed, pressurized moon rover. But before astronauts can scoot around lunar craters, engineers on Earth need as much data as possible on the astronauts’ needs.

So in mid-October, a team of astronauts participated in an analog mission called the Desert Research and Technology Studies, or Desert RATS (D-RATS). The astronauts, as well as a team of engineers, lived for about a week in groups of two within a NASA test rover, driving around Black Point Lava Flow near SP Crater.

Photographer Dan Winters followed—and photographed—both of these missions while on assignment for Nat Geo. Read more: https://on.natgeo.com/3F8eisO

[–]ArizonanCactus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Arizona desert? I’m a succulent myself and I’m not sure how I didn’t see it. Then again, I’m not sure how me and my fellow cacti would do in space, even with oxygen.

[–]piercemj 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is absolutely what I would love to do as a photographer

[–]drjs1 0 points1 point  (0 children)