Moonward Bound

6 ways NASA's Artemis III will revolutionize lunar science

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If we’re lucky, humanity will once again witness humans walking on the Moon.

In 2024, NASA plans to land the first astronauts on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

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More crewed missions to the Moon means we can bring home more samples to learn about the Moon’s — and even Earth’s — history.

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The mission will allow us to improve on space travel, learn how to live off-world, and understand even more intimately the origins and evolution of our planetary system.

And missions to the Moon will help us prepare for future missions to Mars.

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Here are the 6 ways NASA's Artemis III can help us understand the Solar System — and universe.

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Studying the Moon can help us understand how planetary bodies like planets, moons, and asteroids form and evolve over time.

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2. The Moon’s poles are mysterious places, and might even contain water in permanently shadowed regions. This water could support future astronauts or become fuel for rockets.

3. With lunar samples, we can study how impacts on Earth and the Moon have altered their relationship over time.

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4. With instruments on the surface, we can study how the Sun affects the Moon’s environment.

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5. The Moon also offers a base from which to study the wider universe. Earth-based telescopes are obscured by clouds, bad weather, even the atmosphere itself. The view would be much clearer from the Moon.

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6

Scientists can also learn how humans may best and most safely explore further destinations, including Mars.

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NASA

There may be even more experiments on the lunar surface that NASA hasn’t determined yet.

Read more space stories here.

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