NASA is testing spacesuits for its Artemis program. The testing is being done in Oregon. The testing echoes the six decades-old space race. Finding the right spacesuit is crucial in determining the success of the mission as the US plans to return humans to Moon after 50 years. Oregon has a special place in NASA’s space journey. Researchers said that the rugged and volcanic terrain had helped the agency to train astronauts and find the right spacesuit technology. The agency is hopes that returning to Oregon will contribute actively to planning the Moon return mission. Researchers are compiling research from several spacesuits tests. According to NASA, Oregon is the place on Earth to provide training to astronauts for Artemis-like missions.
NASA said that a crew of 10 visited central Oregon in August. The crew members tested equipment that astronauts will carry to Moon. The testing was done on volcanic terrain. This helped the crew to replicate conditions that astronauts will face when they land on Moon and Mars. Under the Artemis program, NASA will land humans on Moon by 2024. The agency can launch a crewed mission to Mars by 2030. The Artemis mission will see two astronauts including the first woman landing on Earth’s lone moon. They will spend around seven days on Moon. This mission will also help in advancing a crewed Mars mission. Apollo 17 was NASA’s last Moon landing mission in 1972. No space agency has since then landed humans on the lunar surface.
NASA said that testing technology in a real environment is crucial. It will help in ironing out the possible complexities that astronauts may face. The agency expects that results obtained during the testing will work. Notably, NASA had in the 1960s conducted similar tests in Oregon. Apollo program trainees spent days in Oregon to study the diverse landscapes. The results will be written in technical papers. This will help the next generation astronauts to learn about the spacesuits for moon exploration. The data will also be contributing to developing more advanced suits for future missions.