The Moon is a twin of the Earth. Thanks to the Artemis mission, 4.5 billion years old rocks on the Moon are examined. The outcomes of the examination might give a possible outline needed to reconstruct the appearance and the most distant history of our planet, Earth. However, according to Ph.D. Anna Łosiak, it is not possible at the moment.
The launch of the Artemis I mission is scheduled for this afternoon (GMT+2 time zone). This is the first flight that will bring astronauts back to the Moon, and then they can establish a permanent base there. Before the astronauts will get there, three mannequins – Campos, Helga, and Zohar – will fly to the Moon in a special capsule. After this test flight, the astronauts will launch the next Artemis II mission. The crew of 4 astronauts will fly 8,900 km above the surface of the Moon. If the test flight is successful, the second mission will take place in 2024. A year after, the next part (called accordingly the Artemis III mission) will consist of the surface landing near the south pole of the Moon.
Despite the multiple samples that were collected during the Apollo mission, the decades of studies, and the work carried out during the Chinese Chang’e lunar missions, the Silver Globe can still provide much of the data which is needed to fill the gaps in the history, of the Earth and the solar system. This knowledge will provide new insight into the structure of this extremely difficult and interesting field study, space studies.
This time, the astronauts will explore a completely different place than before. In mid-August, NASA unveiled a set of 13 regions of the Moon’s South Pole that astronauts could land on as part of the Artemis III mission. The place was again chosen based on the technological conditions, but – according to Ph.D. Łosiak – it is still “super interesting” for scientists.
“So there is a chance that in the nearby of the landing spot we will find interesting fragments of the Moon without drilling to absurdly impossible depths. Since the Moon was formed from the same matter as the Earth, such samples would also provide information about the Earth itself, but also about other planets alike. It will be a breakthrough in geology, as it will provide us with the first real samples of rocks from inside of the large celestial bodies.”, Ph.D. Łosiak said.
Due to the fact that they are still an absolute rarity, these lunar rock samples are considered priceless. Dr. Łosiak, who had the opportunity to test them a few years ago, recalls that there are three air locks to the warehouse in Houston, USA, where the samples are located (frozen). The samples themselves are tested by researchers in tight suits and gloves to avoid touching the rocks directly and minimizing the risk of contamination. She adds that the procedure for obtaining permission to test these samples is very complicated, and most of them (unless they are destructive tests) should be returned to NASA after the analysis.