Exposure to galactic cosmic radiation during deep space travel, such as to Mars, might significantly damage gastrointestinal functions in astronauts, say researchers, led by one of an Indian-origin.
USA aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, responding to NASA's plans to renew the exploration of the moon and Mars in the next decade, unveiled Wednesday a concept spacecraft able to land on the lunar surface.
NASA has recently submitted to Congress a plan called the National Space Exploration Campaign, which immediately follows President Donald Trump Space Policy Directive-1 signed in December 2017. "Innovative partnerships like this are going to be essential as we go forward to the Moon and create new opportunities there".
The NASA's Gateway project provides global lunar access for a Moon lander. According to Lockheed, it will be capable of carrying 2,000 pounds of cargo and supporting a crew of four on the Moon's surface for up to two weeks at a time.
The engines run on liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, which can both be sourced by splitting water.
It would however need to be refueled between missions, potentially using water from the Moon's surface. The company offered no details on Wednesday about how it would move from the design phase to moon missions in this timeframe.
Lockheed's lunar lander will serve as a precursor to an even more ambitious spacecraft: a Mars lander.
Dr. Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL (left), Avi Blasberger, Director of the Israel Space Agency (ISA - second from left), NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (second from right), and NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen (right), following the signing of the agreement.
It's been more than 45 years since the last crew touched boots on the moon, and it might take at least another decade before this happens again. "The SLS will be the largest and most powerful rocket ever built - all this energy, all this force, will lift American astronauts to space aboard the Orion capsule", Pence explained.