“Space meteorologists” expect that humanity’s return to the moon is in danger

Artemis It is an ambitious mission. It is scheduled to begin in 2024 and seeks to achieve a series of milestones in space exploration. On the one hand, the manned mission of NASA Will arrive at Colors After several decades of direct human absence from Earth’s natural satellite. Additionally, it will be The first time astronauts set foot on the surface of the moon.

On the other hand, the US agency plans to establish a base in that area and pave the way for commercial flights to reach that destination. Last year, NASA confirmed that it would allocate about $ 28 billion for the mission.

However, The Artemis mission might be in danger Due to possible adverse weather events. According to researchers from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, in 2024, extreme behaviors could be recorded that would lead to delays in plans. NASAOr, expect the astronauts to return.

Artemis walking a tightrope?

Experts have analyzed space weather over the past 150 years to identify patterns in time, focusing on periods when the most dangerous events have occurred. On this way, they found that Solar cycle 25That started in late 2019 Storms and strong solar winds When NASA plans to return to Colors.

They noted in the investigation that solar cycles, which occur every 11 years, will increase their activity (and the consequent severity) every five years; In this case, in 2024. These space phenomena will be extremely dangerous to astronauts, ships and satellites, and may even affect electrical networks on Earth.

“Weather events in space were random in their time. However, this research indicates that they are more predictable, and generally follow the same stations of activity as smaller space weather events,” explained Matthew Owens, professor of space physics and co-author of the study. “The phenomena recorded also show some important differences during the busiest season, which may help avoid the harmful effects of space weather,” the expert added.

Solid fuel from a NASA Artemis rocket inside the massive vehicle assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.to: Reuters

Owens stressed that “up until now, the most extreme space weather event was thought to be random, so little could be done to plan.”

As they point out CNETAnd the Solar phenomena could be problematic for future lunar explorers. Although it is located about 150 million kilometers from our planet, the activity that takes place on its surface releases radioactive particles. In that order, while the Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the worst of this activity, this shield is not present on the Moon.

The a study From British researchers it has been published in the journal Solar Physics.

Besides the projections presented in this report, both NASA Whereas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not consider Solar Cycle 25 to be “particularly active”, although it does estimate that extreme events will occur, with no concrete possibility to anticipate them.

During the Artemis program, the U.S. Agency for Robotics and Humans plans to search for and possibly extract Resources such as water, which can be converted into other usable resources, Including oxygen and fuel. In addition, thanks to the refinement of precision landing techniques and the development of new navigation capabilities, astronauts will travel greater distances and explore new areas of the moon.

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Lovell Loxley

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