NASA aims to launch manned missions to the Moon again. Although one of the main goals here may seem to establish a permanent settlement on the lunar surface, the real goal is actually much bigger.

Here we are sharing the most special moments of Moon Landing back in 69' and dreaming of a settlement on the lunar surface which can be observed with naked eye from earth within the third issue of our Astro Newsletter.

"Last 5%"  the words of Buzz Aldrin, pilot of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Module, echoed in the mission control center on July 20, 1969, at 8:16 PM in Houston.

Two astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, were only 30 meters above the surface of the Moon. But they only had 5% of their fuel left. Buzz Aldrin checked the gauges once again and he said "last 22 meters" to Neil.

When the clocks showed 8:17 p.m., the Lunar Lander Eagle seemed to be reborn in a dust cloud on the Moon's surface with two astronauts inside. This new achievement of mankind echoed throughout the universe with the words of mission commander Neil Armstrong who remained silent till then, “Houston, Tranquility base here, Eagle has landed!".

About 2 hours later, at 10:56 p.m. (EDT), the first human trace to be left on the lunar surface was made by Neil Armstrong as follows;

Now, exactly 53 years later, another rocket is making its final preparations for the same target on the ramp where the Saturn V rocket, which took mankind to the Moon for the first time, was launched. The rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS), aims to take humanity back to the Moon. But this time, it is planned to establish a permanent settlement there rather than just visiting.

In the past weeks, NASA has completed its full fuel test called the "Wet Dress Rehearsal", which is the last test of the SLS rocket within the new space program called Artemis. The test is called “Wet Dress Rehearsal” since this test involves the process of filling and emptying all liquid fuels into tanks. This last test is also a sign for the real launch time approaching.

The first mission will be unmanned. SLS will will provide the initial thrust to carry the Orion space capsule, jointly developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, into orbit of the Moon. Afterwards, Orion will return to Earth by making one full orbit around the Moon.

NASA aims to launch manned missions to the Moon again in 2024.

A rocket launched from Earth needs to consume tons of fuel to escape the Earth's gravitational force and reach its orbit. According to Newton's third law of motion, the thrust coming from a rocket engine is called "action", and rising of the rocket as a result of this action is called "reaction". Since Earth's gravitational force is too strong, the thrust must be more powerful than the weight of rocket for the reaction to occur.

Manned missions to be launched to Mars in the future will also consume a lot of fuel due to this gravitational force. If an object is thrown into space from a celestial body with 6 times less gravitational force, it will be possible to travel much farther using much less fuel. That's why establishing a base on the lunar surface and reaching Mars or other celestial bodies from there is planned.

In addition, if the missions are accomplished, NASA is preparing to blaze a trail by sending the first woman to Moon. Since all 12 astronauts who walked on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972 were men, this time, NASA is working on sending the first female astronaut to walk on the Moon with the Artemis program.

What do you think how the Moon, shining like a golden disk in the sky especially during the full moon, will look like after all these missions?

Will we one day be able to sit and watch the launches from the lunar surface with our telescopes while today it is necessary to go to the rocket launch site to watch the launches into space?

We are holding our breath for it!

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