NASA to Study Previously Unopened Apollo Sample

Boeing moon

This was Boeing's first flight test with Starliner and it was part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program to return human spaceflight launches to the International Space Station from American soil.

Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, has submitted its proposal for the Moon lander to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It would either rendezvous with the lunar Gateway or directly with an Orion spacecraft, where astronauts would board it for a trip to the lunar surface.

An artist's conception shows the ascent module taking off from the descent module on Boeing's lunar lander.

Boeing's HLS is capable of enabling crewed lunar surface landing with only five mission critical events.

Jim Chilton from Boeing said: 'We have developed a "Fewest Steps to the Moon" approach that minimizes mission complexity, while offering the safest and most direct path to the lunar surface'.

Under NASA's current plans, though, the Block 1B version of SLS won't be ready in time for a 2024 landing.

In Greek mythology Artemis was the goddess of the moon and the twin sister of Apollo.

It has been 50 years since three courageous men (pictured is Buzz Aldrin) stepped on the moon - and according to NASA, our return is just around the corner. Blue Origin confirmed that its team, announced by company founder Jeff Bezos Oct. 22, had submitted a proposal to NASA by the November 5 deadline.

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In contrast, Blue Moon's design calls for a transfer stage, to be built by Northrop Grumman.

"Opening these samples now will enable new scientific discoveries about the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by Artemis astronauts", said Francis McCubbin, NASA's astromaterials curator.

Some samples returned to Earth on Nasa's Apollo missions have been kept untouched, all meant to be analysed with more advanced technologies than were available during the Apollo years.

The sample, numbered 73002, was collected by Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt, who drove a 4cm-wide tube into the surface of the moon to collect it, reported the Xinhua news agency, according to Nasa's news release yesterday.

Boeing says that, unlike other proposals, its lander will be able to dock directly with Orion or the Gateway, eliminating the need for additional spacecraft.

The first missions carrying humans should take place in 2020, according to NASA, but this schedule depends on the success of several upcoming tests. One to create a lander for the 2024 mission and another for longer term sustainable landings from 2028.

Some samples returned to Earth on Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions have been kept untouched, all meant to be analysed with more advanced technologies than were available during the Apollo years. Separately that month, the space agency posted a notice to the Federal Business Opportunities website that it was seeking "proposals from industry for the development of integrated human lunar landers and execution of crewed flight demonstrations to the lunar surface by 2024".

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