The two parties announced Tuesday that they would work together to test new technologies for the moon.
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2 min read
This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur as a result of this process.
NASA and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' aerospace company, have teamed up to emulate the moon's gravity in the company's New Shepard rocket.
"The unique gravity of the lunar surface is one of the many variable conditions under which technologies designed for the moon must perform well," said the space agency's statement.
The first step in reaching this milestone is to convert the ship's capsule into a centrifuge, similar to washing machines but much more powerful.
“With the New Shepard updates, the vehicle can use its reaction control system to give the capsule a spin. As a result, the entire capsule essentially acts as a large centrifuge to create artificial gravity environments for the payloads inside, ”the NASA statement said.
The innovation is expected to be ready by the end of 2022 and will be an addition to the Artemis program, which aims to bring a man and, for the first time, a woman to the moon in 2024.
Before the big goal of getting the cargo and crew to the moon is achieved, the first test flight aims at 11 revolutions per minute in order to achieve more than two minutes of continuous moon gravity. This exposes the technology to challenging and difficult-to-use conditions.
What is the goal?
One of the constant challenges of living and working in space today is reducing gravity, according to Christopher Baker, director of NASA's flight opportunities program.
He added that many of the systems designed for astronauts on Earth do not function the same way elsewhere. New Shepard seeks to improve lunar gravity time and payload capacity.
"Currently, NASA can approximate the moon's gravity in parabolic flights and in centrifuges in suborbital vehicles, both invaluable options for the maturation of promising innovations," he told the payload, forcing NASA to explore options of greater duration and size. Blue Origin's new lunar gravity test feature, expected to be available in late 2022, responds to this need. "