Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

NASA to Send First Female Astronaut to the Moon by 2024

NASA to Send First Female Astronaut to the Moon by 2024

"The moon is shrinking as its interior cools, getting more than about 150 feet (50 meters) skinnier over the last several hundred million years", a May 13 NASA news release says.

The agency said this was causing the moon to develop "wrinkles", and likened the moon's shrinkage to a grape shriveling into a raisin.

Although the Apollo missions occurred decades ago, "the Apollo seismometers are the only ones deployed on the Moon", Watters said in an email to CTV News. Then the data from the '60s and '70s was laid on top of the 2010 data to create an algorithm to better understand where the quakes were coming from.

In a study published in "Nature Geoscience" on Monday, a team of scientists examined data from the LRO and compared it to the location of moonquakes recorded during the Apollo program in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 astronauts placed seismometers—instruments that measure the shaking produced by quakes—at their landing sites. The quakes ranged from 2 to 5 on the Richter scale.

The researchers also determined that six of the eight quakes linked to the thrust faults occurred when the moon was at its apogee, or at its farthest distance from the earth, where additional "tidal stress from Earth's gravity causes a peak in the total stress on the moon's crust". If this is correct, the discovery demonstrates that the moon pursues to be tectonically active today. They found it is less than 4 percent.

Hours after the administration of President Donald Trump asked the United States Congress for more money to realise an accelerated timeline for returning astronauts to the moon's surface, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said a lunar mission was just the beginning. Over time, the lunar surface darkens due to weathering and radiation, so bright spots are areas where recent activity has exposed areas on the lunar surface.

This breakage results in thrust faults, where one section of crust is pushed up over an adjacent section. Because of this activity, the inner part of the Moon is gradually losing heat when compared to the time when the moon came into existence almost four and a half billion years ago. Scientists observed landslides and boulders fallen near bright patches near the faults.

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On the one hand, this timetable seems somewhat rushed, especially considering NASA's commercial partners have been experiencing delays with their crew capsules lately. The fault scarps themselves are also a clue.

"It's really remarkable to see how data from almost 50 years ago and from the LRO mission has been combined to advance our understanding of the Moon", LRO Project Scientist John Keller said in a statement, adding that it also guides future missions on the interiors of the moon.

In 2010, Watters spearheaded a team that scrutinized images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter instigated in 2009 and discerned innumerable serpentine cliffs administered broadly over the surface. The findings reveal that the moon has shrunk. "The moon's formation generated a lot of heat, and it has been gradually cooling off ever since". Mare Frigoris, the lunar basin near the Moon's north pole, which was believed to be dead from a geographical point of few is cracking and shifting.

NASA made the big announcement of the mission name on Monday, Mat 13 at the same time the space agency presented an updated budget request to the US Congress, asking for an additional $1.6 billion in funding for the 2024 Artemis Mission.

Astronauts would launch to the gateway and transfer to a lunar orbiter with a descent/ascent vehicle.

The space agency wants to establish "sustainable missions by 2028" - taking what they learn from the moon and applying it to reaching Mars.

In addition to the groundbreaking research, NASA hopes that this new exploration will inspire the next generation of scientists.

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