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The United States once again land on the Moon, why choose the moon South Moon

US Vice President Burns recently announced that the United States will launch a 21st century "space race", send American astronauts to the moon again within five years, and will choose to take the first step in the moon's Antarctic. In the 1960s and 1970s, American unmanned detectors and astronauts landed on the moon many times, but mainly concentrated in the lunar equator and mid-latitude regions. After half a century, why did the United States choose the moon's Antarctic as the preferred landing point for returning to the moon?



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According to Burns’s 5th meeting of the US National Space Committee, the Moon’s South Pole has “great scientific, economic, and strategic value.” One of the important reasons is that the Moon’s Antarctic has water ice.

"This century, we will return to the moon with new ambitions," said Pens. "Not only to go there, not only to develop technology there, but also to extract oxygen from the moon rocks to refuel our spacecraft; Use nuclear energy to extract water from craters in the permanent shadows of the Antarctic; to fly with a new generation of spacecraft, they will allow us to reach Mars in months instead of years."

The dark and cold regions of the moon have been speculated to contain water ice, but it was not until six months ago that American scientists analyzed the data of the Indian Moon Ship 1 lunar probe to confirm the presence of water ice on the moon's south pole. The strategic value of the Moon's Antarctic on the US's overall space exploration program, especially for landing on Mars, has increased dramatically.

According to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in August last year, there are many areas containing water ice in the permanent shadow area above 70 degrees north and south of the moon, but the distribution of water ice in the south and north pole of the moon is not The same: most of the water ice of the Moon's South Pole is concentrated in the crater, while the Moon's Arctic water ice is widely distributed and sparse. Since the sun never shines at the bottom of the moon's polar crater, the resulting permanent shadow zone temperature is no higher than minus 163 degrees Celsius, so that the water ice here can be stored for a long time.

NASA Director Jim Bridtenstin quoted estimates that the moon's poles may store more than 1 trillion pounds (about 450 million tons) of water ice, which means "maintaining life, breathable air." Drinkable water and hydrogen and oxygen as a rocket propellant on the moon's surface."



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Since President Trump took office, he ordered the rebuilding of the National Space Committee, which has been on hold for 25 years, and announced his return to the moon plan, proposing "not only to put a flag on the moon and leave footprints, but also to lay the role for the future US manned Mars mission. basis". It can be seen that in the US government's space exploration program, the moon is an important "transfer station" to land on Mars. If you want to build a lunar base and prepare for the final landing on Mars, the water ice on the moon becomes an extremely valuable resource that can sustain the astronauts' survival and become an important source of spacecraft fuel. The lunar South Pole, where the distribution of water ice is concentrated, naturally becomes the preferred landing point.

In theory, scientists have mastered the technology of mining lunar water ice, but the actual exploitation still faces many difficulties.

First of all, the detection depth of the lunar ore plotter of the “Yuezhou No. 1” lunar ore in India is only 1 to 2 mm below the surface of the earth. How much water ice is contained in the moon's polar underground, specifically whether it is mixed with moon soil or large water ice. Forms exist and more advanced detectors and even landers are needed to find out.



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Secondly, landing on the Moon's South Pole will "need to do more than other landing points." Ryan Watkins, a scientist at the Institute of Planetary Sciences in the United States, explained that the orientation of the Moon's Antarctic makes communication between astronauts and the Earth Control Center more difficult; compared to the vicinity of the lunar equator where the US Apollo 11 manned spacecraft landed. The terrain of the Moon's South Pole is also more rugged.