Last Monday the NASA administrator, Bill Nelsonvisited Spanish Space Agency, in Seville, to close an agreement confirming that Spain will be part of the Artemis program, with which people will return to the moon. It was already planned that they would do this through the European Space Agency (ESA), and this will continue to be the case. However, this time around, there is a collaboration with our own space agency.
This is what was already expected when the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, met with my colleague Joe Biden. But what does all this mean? What is the difference between cooperating only with ESA or also with the Spanish Space Agency?
Basically, as he explained hypertext Director General of the Spanish Space Agency, Miguel Belloimplies bilateral cooperation. But in fact, although we are collaborating for the first time as an already existing space agency, Spain has a long tradition of collaboration with NASA. In fact, when humans first landed on the Moon, communication with the Earth was controlled from various points on the Earth, including Chavela Oak Grovein Madrid.
Spanish space agency closer to the moon
Bello recalls that other countries have joined the Artemis program individually, despite being part of larger agencies such as ESA. This is what Spain has done, a country that already has NASA trust for the role of his scientists in many other projects.
The Director General of the Spanish Space Agency claims that our country’s connection with NASA it is very fluid and there are many examples of this.
“The weather stations that NASA has on Mars are Spanish, as are the antennas that send Perseverance data from the red planet directly to Earth; antennas are completely designed, manufactured and tested in our country. On the other hand, in the future we have the ExoMars mission, which was stopped due to the war in Ukraine and which is now starting again, with three all-Spanish instruments. Other future collaborative projects include, among others, an instrument that studies certain magnetic properties of lunar rocks and minerals in situ, or participation in the development of the future PRIMA infrared space telescope.”
Miguel Bella, CEO of the Spanish Space Agency
Eyes on Mars too, not just NASA
As part of the Artemis program, it is planned to return people to the moon. Besides, this time they will do it not only with a much deeper knowledge of the area. They will also do so with greater inclusiveness as this time it is expected to be young woman first set foot on our satellite.
This is a long-awaited journey that, if successful, will serve as the starting signal for the next space race project: get to mars
Men and women, also of color, are expected to travel to the red planet. After returning to the Moon, way stations could be installed there to facilitate this journey, planned for the mid-2030s. And yes, the Spanish Space Agency he also aimed at him.
What will happen to the Spanish astronauts?
For the first time since 1992, two astronauts from Spain have been on the staff of the European Space Agency: Pablo Alvarez and Sara Garcia. This makes us wonder if, since ESA is part of Artemis and now also of the Spanish Space Agency, it could be one of those who fly to the Moon with NASA.
Unfortunately, it’s too early to talk about it. “you can never say no“, says Bello. “ESA astronauts are expected to take part in one of the Artemis missions, with the exception of the first two, which have already been identified, and they are all North American astronauts.”
Therefore, it may be, although this is something that has not been decided yet. Occasionally. Perhaps we will see some Spaniard walk on the moon. It would be even more exciting. Who was going to tell us in 1969 when Armstrong took that little big step?
Source: Hiper Textual