Australia to cooperate with NASA on lunar exploration
Australia to cooperate with NASA on lunar exploration
Trump marks Mars as NASA's next target, says moon is 'not so exciting'
24 September, 2019, 16:07
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin - the second man to walk on the moon - predicted the "Artemis" program would bring decades of progress, similar to what the USA saw with the Apollo program that launched him into space.
"NASA has achieved a historic first milestone by completing the final join of the core stage structure for NASA'sSpace Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket", said Julie Bassler, the NASA SLS stages manager.
At the weekend Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was in Washington DC meeting US President Donald Trump, announced the Federal Government would contribute $150 million through to Australian Space Agency to working with NASA on the upcoming Artemis mission to Mars. He said that "We're stopping at the moon". That work, he added, could include lunar surface systems or capabilities for the lunar Gateway. I said, 'Hey, we've done the moon.
In the near future, humans will venture back to the Moon and perhaps even find their way to Mars. 'For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the moon - We did that 50 years ago, ' he wrote. "We've got 124 companies throughout the state of OH that are contributing to the space exploration mission". Under the contract, NASA will order three Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions III through V for $2.7 billion. "I am confident this hard work will result in a rocket that can provide the backbone for deep space transportation to the Moon and ultimately to Mars". "And they've actually done very well". A formal agreement between NASA and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) signed in 1960 allows for tracking and communication of NASA missions through the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) at Tidbinbilla, as well as the Data Relay Satellite facilities in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and Dongara, Western Australia. "Driving down cost and manufacturing them more efficiently and faster will be key to making the Artemis program a success". Australian Space Agency head Megan Clark and NASA's Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard signed a joint statement of intent for space cooperation.
Artemis is a USA project to send astronauts to the lunar surface and establish sustainable missions with commercial and global partners by 2028.
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