NASA seen testing lunar tech by simulating moonwalk in the Arizona desert

  • NASA is gearing up to put humans on the moon again for the first time in 50 years
  • Astronauts are wearing replica spacesuits and conducting field tests in the desert in preparation
  • The goal is to establish a Moon base and speed up the process of sending humans to Mars

Published on May 17, 2024 at 3:32 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on May 17, 2024 at 3:32 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

NASA is getting ready to send humans to the moon once again.

The last moonwalk was in 1972, over 50 years ago.

To prepare for that, the space agency is simulating the moon’s environment in the Arizona desert.

What may seem like astronauts pushing tool carts through the sand is actually laying the groundwork for long-distance space travel and eventual human habitation on Mars.

READ MORE: Japan reportedly building an elevator that will take humans to space

NASA’s Artemis missions are focused on establishing a human presence on the Moon.

With the help of Space X’s Starship, the two companies will build the first Moon base.

Preparations are well underway, with NASA unveiling a lunar race car and plans to build a railway station on the moon.

Once the Moonbase is built, it will serve as a center for scientific exploration where research on lunar geology and resources in space can take place.

The Moon has resources such as water ice which could potentially sustain life or be used as fuel.

The base will also be a collaborative place where other countries and space agencies can work together to achieve common goals, much like the ISS.

Another massive function of the Artemis missions is to prepare for life on Mars.

We’ve already designed the specialized spacesuits and homes that humans will need to live on Mars, but there is still much to learn about long-duration space travel.

To prepare the team of astronauts leading the Artemis mission, NASA is currently conducting moonwalks in Arizona.

These astronauts have a mammoth task ahead of them as they’ll be tasked with constructing the lunar base, setting up equipment and instruments, and taking samples of the Moon’s natural resources.

This section of the desert was chosen for its similarity to the moon, featuring craters, fractures, and volcanic terrain.

Astronauts are wearing replica spacesuits to practice their moonwalks in the desert, and testing out augmented reality technology.

They’re also practicing setting out light beacons that will be used to guide humans through the dark South Pole terrain of the moon.

“Field tests play a critical role in helping us test all of the systems, hardware, and technology we’ll need to conduct successful lunar operations during Artemis missions,” Barbara Janoiko, director for the field test, said.

“Our engineering and science teams have worked together seamlessly to ensure we are prepared every step of the way for when astronauts step foot on the Moon again.”

If all goes to plan, astronauts will be moonwalking in 2026, including the first woman on the Moon.

Perhaps they’ll be able to see the photograph an astronaut left up there in 1972.

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Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.