NASA saw major success last month when it crashed its DART probe, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, into the smaller half of a distant double-asteroid system. The entire point of the experiment was to see whether the space agency could successfully alter the orbit of a small asteroid. And it turns out, they can! On the other hand, however, NASA’s scientists are seeing much less success with the first phase of their Artemis I Moon Mission. The mission represents NASA’s first endeavor to put humans back on the moon since Apollo 11 in 1969. After multiple failed launch attempts though, NASA has again set a new launch date. And it’s possible the unmanned rocket could finally circle the moon as early as next month.
According to CNN, NASA has rescheduled the Artemis I launch for Monday, November 14th. The latest launch date comes after Hurricane Ian completely devastated Florida at the end of September and sent the 322-foot-tall rocket back into its hangar. There, NASA kept the large, expensive rocket kept safe from the storm. Per the outlet, the 69-minute launch window opens at 12:07 a.m. that day.
Hopefully, fourth time’s the charm when it comes to this multi-billion project and we actually see the mission play out. Should NASA manage to get Artemis I off the ground this time, the next phase of the mission is to send it around the moon and back toward earth. This first phase is intended to test the rocket’s systems and make sure it would be safe for future astronauts.
Overall, NASA expects the historic mission to last 25 days. Officials shared in a statement that the rocket should land in the Pacific Ocean on Friday, December 9th after successfully circumferencing the moon.
New NASA Simulation Suggests Earth’s Moon Formed In Just Hours—Not Years
While we wait to see NASA send humans back to the moon, we’re examining how Earth’s only natural satellite formed.
For years, scientists mostly agreed that our Moon was created in a matter of decades, or even centuries. The large satellite supposedly formed after a Mars-sized object crashed into our planet and sent gas, metals, and magma shooting across outer space. The original theory states these materials became compressed, later forming what we now know as the moon. However, technology has revolutionized a lot of NASA’s theories. And it’s most recently altered the course of thought behind the moon’s creation.
A few days ago, NASA unveiled a mesmerizing new simulation. The video shows a different way that the moon may have formed, challenging previous flows of thought.
Essentially, the simulation, which you can view below, shows a foreign body colliding with our planet. Debris from the collision then forms two separate, smaller bodies. Scientists suggest that gravity from the larger of the two bodies propelled the smaller body forward and sent it into a steady orbit around the earth. This body is what later became our moon. And all this in a matter of hours.
Overall, the theory is definitely unique compared to previous ideas. However, hopefully, as technology further advances, NASA uncovers more answers that tell us both about the moon and our planet’s roots.