NASA’s Moon Mission: See the new spacesuit Artemis astronauts will wear

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After more than 50 years of dormancy, the moon is about to become a destination for space travelers again.

The public will soon learn the names of the four astronauts who will travel around the moon next year aboard the Artemis II rocket. Three Americans and one Canadian, who NASA will announce on April 3, will fly farther than any human during the Apollo missions.

The selection process remains secret, but the astronaut pool is far more diverse than it was decades ago.

As mentioned in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book on the space race, each crew member must embody “the right stuff” — exhibiting the traits of a good teammate and an effective communicator who expects the unexpected.

And when the Artemis III astronauts take another step forward by landing on the moon, perhaps in 2025, they’ll need something else: the right suit.

Defying gravity

This week, NASA and Axiom Space unveiled a new spacesuit that will be worn by the first woman and first person of color to walk on the moon.

The Artemis III crew will aim to land on the unexplored south pole of the Moon, home to cold, permanently shadowed regions where ice has remained frozen for billions of years.

Axiom Space Chief Engineer Jim Stein demonstrates a prototype spacesuit, Wednesday, March 15, 2023, in Houston.

AP Photo/David J. Philip

The redesigned suit allows a greater range of motion and includes boots with extra insulation and other innovations that should facilitate exploration of the lunar surface. And it’s about time – the spacesuits worn by American astronauts haven’t been updated since the space shuttle program was active.

A prototype of the new Axiom Space design showed black, blue and orange. However, the actual suits will be the traditional white from the Apollo days to protect the astronauts from extreme temperature changes.

Dino tick!

Dinosaurs were some of the largest creatures to roam the Earth. Now researchers have discovered one that has broken records among giants.

A dinosaur named Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum once liked to nibble on the leafy greens of trees that it could easily reach because the creature had a huge neck longer than a school bus.

The sauropod’s 49.5-foot-long (15.1-meter) neck, the longest of any known dinosaur, allowed it to stand still and chew for hours.

But how did Mamenchisaurus manage to not feel burdened by such an extreme feature? The secret was in his air-filled bones.

It’s a miracle

In Japan, a beautiful species of orchids have been found blooming in country gardens and suburban balcony plantations.

A rare find with delicate pink and white flowers that seem to be woven from glass, it belongs to a group of orchids called spirantes, or “ladies’ braids”.

Scientists were able to distinguish this orchid from others in its family because the flowers bloomed earlier and the plant has smooth, rather than hairy, stems.

Other worlds

When a NASA mission scientist recently reviewed images of Venus from 1991 taken by the Magellan spacecraft, he noticed something unusual. Two photos of the same object, taken months apart, looked drastically different.

Eight months after Magellan’s first pass, the opening on one of the planet’s largest volcanoes has nearly doubled in size and filled with a lava lake.

The change reveals never-before-seen evidence of volcanic activity on Venus’ surface that future missions could track for a decade.

Meanwhile, the search for water on Mars has revealed signs of a recent glacier that existed near the Red Planet’s warm equator.

The glacier is gone. But researchers have spotted a layer of salt that has preserved surprising details on a chunk of ice — and it’s right in the area where humans could eventually land on Mars.

Secrets of the ocean

“Beware of the Droplet, she crawls / And jumps and slides and slides / Across the floor!”

This dramatic text is taken from the theme of the 1958 film The Blob, but it also serves as a warning about a giant mass making its way across the ocean. A tangled tangle of sargassum algae more than 5,000 miles (8,047 kilometers) long has formed in the Atlantic Ocean.

A floating blob — which could be the largest on record — could dump foul-smelling clumps of seaweed on Florida beaches and elsewhere along the Gulf of Mexico this summer.

An unprecedented phenomenon can pose a serious danger to both humans and ocean life.

Masses of seaweed make great habitat for fish and other marine life, but they can also create dead zones — and even release toxic gas when they reach land.

Discoveries

Prepare to have your mind blown:

– It can be scarier than a drop. Scientists have found “terrible” rocks made of plastic waste on the Brazilian volcanic island of Trinidad.

– The remains of a Roman aristocrat have been found buried with her jewelery in a lead coffin after archaeologists discovered a hidden cemetery in northern England.

– The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a brilliant new image of a rare star on the verge of exploding.

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NASA’s Moon Mission: See the new spacesuit Artemis astronauts will wear

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