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International astronaut will be invited on future NASA moon landing

by Ryan Lee
4 comments
International Moon Landing

An announcement made by NASA and the White House has revealed that an international astronaut is set to participate in a future moon landing alongside American astronauts by the end of this decade. This development was disclosed during a meeting convened by Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, part of the National Space Council’s activities under the Biden administration.

As of now, the identity of the international astronaut and the specific country they will represent remains undisclosed. NASA clarified that crew assignments for lunar-landing missions will be determined closer to the actual missions, and no commitments have been made to any particular nation at this time.

It’s worth noting that NASA has a history of involving international astronauts in space missions, with Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen scheduled to undertake a lunar orbit mission with three American astronauts in the coming year.

The prospect of another crew actually landing on the moon is a significant development, marking the first time astronauts will set foot on the lunar surface in over half a century. However, this historic event is not expected to occur before 2027, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

During NASA’s Apollo program in the 1960s and 1970s, all 12 moonwalkers were U.S. citizens. The current moon exploration program is aptly named Artemis, paying homage to Apollo’s mythological twin sister.

The inclusion of international partners in this endeavor has been praised as a crucial step in fostering global cooperation in space. The Artemis Accords, established by NASA and the U.S. State Department in 2020, emphasize responsible conduct not only on the moon but also throughout space. Representatives from all 33 countries that have signed these accords were expected to attend the National Space Council’s meeting in Washington.

However, it’s worth noting that Russia and China, the only countries besides the U.S. to launch their own citizens into orbit, are notably absent from the Artemis Accords. Despite this, Russia continues to be a partner with NASA in the International Space Station, collaborating with Europe, Japan, and Canada. In the past, Russian and U.S. space agencies have cooperated on missions, such as launching each other’s astronauts to Russia’s former orbiting Mir station during the shuttle program in the 1990s.

During the meeting, Vice President Harris also unveiled new policies aimed at ensuring the safe use of space, particularly as private companies and countries increasingly venture into space exploration. Key concerns include addressing the climate crisis and mitigating the growing issue of space debris around Earth. An anti-satellite missile test conducted by Russia in 2021, which added over 1,500 potentially hazardous orbiting debris pieces, prompted calls from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others at the meeting for all nations to cease such destructive testing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about International Moon Landing

What is the significance of the announcement regarding an international astronaut joining a future NASA moon landing?

The significance of this announcement is that it marks a notable step in international space cooperation. An international astronaut will participate in a future moon landing alongside American astronauts, symbolizing collaboration in lunar exploration.

When is this joint moon landing expected to take place?

The specific timeline for this joint moon landing has not been confirmed yet. However, it is unlikely to occur before 2027, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Has the identity of the international astronaut or the representing country been revealed?

As of now, the identity of the international astronaut and the country they will represent remains undisclosed. NASA clarified that crew assignments for lunar-landing missions will be determined closer to the actual missions, and no commitments have been made to any particular nation at this time.

How does this initiative relate to NASA’s past missions?

Historically, all 12 moonwalkers during NASA’s Apollo program were U.S. citizens. This initiative, part of the Artemis program, signifies a departure from that tradition by involving international partners in lunar exploration.

What are the Artemis Accords, and why are they relevant to this announcement?

The Artemis Accords are an international agreement established by NASA and the U.S. State Department in 2020. They promote responsible behavior in space exploration and lunar activities. This announcement aligns with the spirit of cooperation encouraged by the Artemis Accords.

Why are Russia and China not part of the Artemis Accords?

Russia and China, both capable of launching their citizens into orbit, have not signed the Artemis Accords. Despite this, Russia collaborates with NASA in the International Space Station, while China pursues its independent space missions.

What are the main concerns addressed during the National Space Council meeting?

During the meeting, Vice President Harris announced new policies aimed at ensuring the safe use of space, including addressing the climate crisis and the growing issue of space debris. The meeting emphasized the need for responsible space conduct as private companies and countries increasingly engage in space exploration.

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4 comments

StarryEyes December 25, 2023 - 7:47 pm

Artemis Accords seem imp. to avoid space mess, hope it works!

Reply
SpaceEnthusiast December 25, 2023 - 11:34 pm

NASA doin big things, but why russia n china not playin along?

Reply
Reader123 December 26, 2023 - 5:41 am

cool news bout NASA n the moon! wonder who tht astronot gonna be??

Reply
MoonWatcher December 26, 2023 - 9:23 am

Int’l astronaut on moon, neat! But, when tho? 2027? wow!

Reply

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