NASA to unearth mysteries of Moon with the launch of Nova-C lunar lander; Know all about this Artemis mission | Tech News

NASA to unearth mysteries of Moon with the launch of Nova-C lunar lander; Know all about this Artemis mission

NASA's Artemis mission launched Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lunar lander, named Odysseus, to the Moon as part of the CLPS program and the broader Artemis campaign.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 16 2024, 18:03 IST
NASA
NASA's Artemis mission launched the Nova-C lunar lander named Odysseus. (Nasa/ Kim Shiflett)
NASA
NASA's Artemis mission launched the Nova-C lunar lander named Odysseus. (Nasa/ Kim Shiflett)

NASA's Artemis mission has embarked on a journey to the Moon with the launch of Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lunar lander, named Odysseus, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:05 a.m. EST. This initiative, part of NASA's CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) program and the broader Artemis campaign aims to deliver a suite of science instruments and technology demonstrations to our nearest celestial neighbor.

Unveiling the Lunar Environment

According to the US Space Agency, the Nova-C lander is equipped with a range of payloads designed to study various aspects of the lunar surface environment and test technologies critical for future lunar exploration missions. These payloads will provide insights into plume-surface interactions, space weather, radio astronomy, and precision landing technologies, among other areas of scientific interest.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson emphasized the significance of these deliveries, highlighting their role in advancing lunar exploration and supporting a growing commercial space economy. The Artemis mission represents a pivotal step in humanity's efforts to return to the lunar surface after more than half a century.

Key scientific instruments aboard the lander include a Navigation Demonstrator, Laser Retroreflector Array, Navigation Doppler Lidar, Radio Frequency Mass Gauge, Radio-wave Observations instrument, and Stereo Cameras for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies. These instruments will gather data on various lunar phenomena and aid in understanding the Moon's surface environment.

Landing Site and Mission Duration

The Nova-C lander, scheduled to touch down near the Moon's South Pole region on February 22, will explore a relatively flat and safe area known as Malapert A. This landing site will provide valuable insights into communication challenges and data transmission from locations where Earth is low on the lunar horizon.

The scientific data collected during the mission will contribute to ongoing efforts to prepare for crewed Artemis missions, paving the way for the first woman and the first person of color to explore the Moon. Through Artemis, NASA aims to establish a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface and expand our understanding of the solar system.

Looking Ahead

NASA's mission to the Moon under the Artemis program aims to pave the way for future human exploration. It represents a significant step towards achieving the goal of sending the first woman and the first person of color to explore the lunar surface. Through these missions, NASA continues to push the boundaries of space exploration and scientific discovery.

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First Published Date: 16 Feb, 18:03 IST
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