Moon Landing 2024

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YouTuber Mr Beast sells space on hard drive that will be sent to Moon by NASA
YouTuber Mr Beast sells space on hard drive that will be sent to Moon by NASA
Credit: Courtesy of Mr. Beast

The YouTuber Mr Beast has announced that he secured space on the NASA Moon rover that is set to be launched in 2021. Onboard will be a hard drive with what he claims is the "universes first digital time capsule".

For $10 people can buy space on the hard drive to send images and videos to the moon "assuming it's legal".

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ARTEMIS: NASA Has Picked Astronauts for new Moon Mission
ARTEMIS: NASA Has Picked Astronauts for new Moon Mission
Credit: NASA

We're going back to the Moon! 18 astronauts, nine of them women, are training for NASA's upcoming Artemis missions to travel to the Moon and, eventually, to Mars. The group includes the first woman who will walk on the lunar surface in 2024.

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Microbes could mine valuable elements from rocks on the moon or Mars
Sphingomonas desiccabilis, the bacterium capable of “biomining” rare-earth elements from basalt rock.
Sphingomonas desiccabilis, the bacterium capable of “biomining” rare-earth elements from basalt rock. Credit: Rosa Santomartino

Recent experiments aboard the International Space Station have shown that some microbes can harvest valuable rare-earth elements from rocks, even when exposed to microgravity conditions. Microorganisms are already used on Earth to mine economically important elements from rocks, including rare earth elements, used in mobile phones and electronics.

It's unlikely to be economically viable to mine these elements in space and bring them back to Earth, according to Charles Cockell, a professor of astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the project.

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Water on Moon's surface may be more abundant than once thought, could sustain a lunar base
Water on Moon's surface may be more abundant than once thought, could sustain a lunar base
Credit: William Andrus (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Unlike previous detections of water in permanently shadowed parts of lunar craters, scientists have now detected the molecule in sunlit regions of the Moon's surface.

Speaking during a virtual teleconference, co-author Casey Honniball, a postdoctoral fellow at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said: "The amount of water is roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water in a cubic metre of lunar soil." Her Nasa colleague Jacob Bleacher, from the agency's human exploration directorate, said researchers still needed to understand the nature of the watery deposits.

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NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
Credit: NASA

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have signed on as founding member nations to NASA's Artemis Accords, an international agreement that "will help to avoid conflict in space and on Earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions."

"Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition," so NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "With today's signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy."

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Artemis mission: NASA pledges to land first woman on moon by 2024
@NASA_Astronauts  are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions.
@NASA_Astronauts are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions. Credit: @NASA_Johnson, via Twitter | NASA (Public Domain)

NASA has annouced it's preparing for its second mission to Moon. Artemis, the first lunar mission since 1972, will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024.

"NASA engineers are laying the foundation for the moonwalks the first woman and next man will conduct when they land on the lunar South Pole in 2024 as part of the Artemis program. At the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, teams are testing the tools and developing training approaches for lunar surface operations," so NASA in a statement.

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Nasa has selected three companies to determine which lunar landers will be used

With the Nasa program, named Artemis having the goal to land on the moon by 2024, the space agency has awarded three contracts to private firms in order to determine over the next ten months which solution will be used to close the distance between lunar orbit and the surface. SpaceX has been awarded $135m, Blue Origin $579m and Dynetics $253m.