China has reached the moon in 2019, but this will be NASA’s first trip to the back of the moon, and two of the three scientific missions planned by Artemis point to this location.
NASA revealed that it has selected all three missions for Artemis’ commercial lunar payload service program. Two of them point to hemispheres farther and farther from the earth, marking the first appearance of NASA in areas where China has deployed missions in 2019. The scientist’s goal is to understand the hemisphere in more depth before figuring out whether to send humans there.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed the Farside Seismic Suite mission. It plans to collect data from two seismographs in a few months to monitor tectonic activities in the farthest hemisphere and obtain more information about small meteorite impacts and the internal structure of the moon. The location selected for this location is also used in the Schrodinger Basin and is called the Moon’s Internal Temperature and Material Kit. Here, the scientists intend to use two specific instruments to study the internal heat flux of the moon and its electrical conductivity.
In another approach, the third project chosen is Lunar Vertex, which aims to better study the phenomenon of lunar vortices. The mission will target Lena Gamma, one of the largest and most obvious vortices, and aims to obtain more data about what these phenomena are, how they form, and how they provide us with clues about the Moon’s magnetic field. This task involves facing the surface on which the magnetic field will be measured.
Supporters of these missions are now finalizing the details of the project with NASA, and the payload is expected to reach the moon in 2024.