During training on the imitation of the lunar landscape, NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and her partner look like true conquerors of the Moon, ready to land on the surface of the Earth’s moon again. The photos she posted on the X network (formerly Twitter) were taken during their training in simulated spacesuits in one of the equipped rooms of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. With its black walls and dimmed lights, this hangar is the perfect place to simulate the harsh and eerie conditions of the lunar surface.
In one of the pictures, Jessica Meir, who has already become a veteran of the International Space Station, handshakes with her partner on this simulated lunar landscape. Both are wearing spacesuits, which, despite the fact that they are not completely sealed, serve as important mockups for preparing for wearing and using such special equipment.
Training before Artemis III
According to Meir, these trainings are of key importance for NASA’s Artemis program, which is focused on landing astronauts on the Moon as part of the Artemis III mission. This mission, scheduled for 2025-2026, will be the first human landing on the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972.
Although the Johnson Space Center is one way to simulate the lunar surface, there are other methods. For example, EVA (JETT) conducts annual exercises in the Arizona desert. Here astronauts go out at night and work under lamps that simulate the harsh sun on the Moon. This activity allows them to acquire the necessary skills for future missions. An important feature of Arizona, which makes it ideal for these trainings, is its relief, geological specificity and limited communication infrastructure, which give the atmosphere of a real lunar surface.
The Artemis III mission does not yet have a specific crew, but the Artemis II mission, which precedes it, already has its own astronauts. The Artemis II crew includes NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen. The Artemis I automatic mission already successfully entered the Moon orbit at the end of 2022, which proved the possibility of restoring manned missions to the Moon as well as raising them to a new level.
Diverse composition of missions
NASA has already confirmed its commitment to include women and representatives of different races in the Artemis mission. For the first time in history, Victor Glover will become the first dark-skinned person to leave low-Earth orbit. Christina Koch will be the first woman to conquer the Moon. Jeremy Hansen, a representative of the Canadian Space Agency, will be the first non-American to take part in such a mission.
Diversity and inclusion in space programs is growing, setting new records for the astronomy industry. Before that, Jessica Meir and Christina Koch were participants in the first female spacewalk mission, and Koch spent almost a year on the ISS, proving that women could achieve tremendous success in space.
Earlier we reported on how the satellite showed the landing site of Artemis III.
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