In preparation for lunar exploration during NASA's Artemis program, NASA conducted a week-long field test in the lunar-like landscape of the San Francisco volcanic region near Flagstaff, Arizona, to practice moonwalking scenarios. There is.

The crew includes NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Andre Douglas, who traverse the desert in mock-up spacesuit systems and perform various technology demonstrations, hardware checkouts, and science-related tasks on Artemis. Is going.

During testing, the two integrated teams will work together to practice end-to-end lunar surface operations. The field team consists of astronauts, NASA engineers, and field experts conducting a simulated moon walk in the Arizona desert, and a team of flight controllers and scientists from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will conduct their activities. are monitored and guided.

“Field testing will play a critical role in testing all of the systems, hardware and technology needed for successful lunar surface operations during the Artemis mission,” said Barbara Gianoico, director of field testing at Johnson. I am fulfilling my goal.” “Our engineering and science teams have worked seamlessly together to ensure every step of the way we are ready for when astronauts set foot on the moon again.”

The test consists of four simulated moonwalks and six advanced technology executions following planned operations on Artemis III and beyond. During the advanced flight, the team learned about the features that will be used on future Artemis missions, such as a heads-up display using augmented reality and display and navigation data stream capabilities in the form of illuminated beacons to help return the crew to the lander. Demonstrate potential technologies. .

Prior to the field test, a competitively selected Johnson science team tasked with developing the science goals for the field test followed the planning process designed for the Artemis mission. Their preparations included creating geological maps, a list of science questions, and prioritized moonwalk locations for the test's primary and backup “landing sites.”

“During Artemis III, astronauts will be science operators on the lunar surface, and the entire science team will support them from Earth,” said the scientist responsible for the test at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Official Sherry Achilles said. “This simulation gives us the opportunity to practice investigating geology in real time from a remote location.”

The test will assess gaps and challenges associated with activities at the lunar south pole, including data collection and communication between flight control and science teams in Houston for rapid decision-making protocols.

At the end of each simulated moon walk, the science team, flight control team, crew, and field experts will meet to discuss and record lessons learned. NASA plans to take these lessons and apply them to NASA Artemis mission operations, commercial vendor development, and other technology developments.

This field test is the fifth in a series conducted by the Joint Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Testing Team, led by Johnson. This test expands on previous field tests conducted by the team and is the most faithful Artemis Moonwalk mission simulation to date.

NASA uses field tests to simulate missions and prepare for deep space destinations. The Arizona desert has been a training ground for lunar exploration since the days of Apollo, as it shares many similarities with the moon's topography, including craters, faults, and volcanic features.

Through Artemis, NASA landed the first woman, first person of color, and first international partner astronaut on the moon, paving the way for long-term lunar exploration and serving as a stepping stone for astronaut missions to Mars. Become.

Learn more about NASA's spacewalk and human surface locomotion programs.

Source link