Why is a human presence on the Moon or Mars necessary if robots can be sent? Astronauts training in Lanzarote are in the clear: Only the synergy between our skills and technology will lead to the “next big step”, which is none other than going back to the Moon, getting to Mars and, on the way, learning to be sustainable and efficient in making or making wind. Fuel from a simple sample of water.
For Astronaut Alexandre Gersta (Kunzelsau, Germany, 1976), which holds the European Space Agency (ESA) record for time spent in space, 362 days, “will only be a success” if robots and humans join together, because although the machines are very much in hostile Spaces are useful and in uncertain situations, they lack something fundamental to space explorers: intuition.
Robots are used for pre-exploration work
“They serve well for pre-exploration work and help us adapt. But humans are more intuitive, we understand the environment much better than robots, we are quicker to obtain samples and identify which ones are important, so in combination we are very efficient,” he says. Gerst in an interview with Efe.
training sessions, which take place in full Santa Catalina Volcano (Tinajo, Lanzarote), They have been developed by ESA personnel and some members of NASA such as Stephanie Wilson, with many ballots being the first woman to walk on the Moon.
In this enclave, similar to many volcanic fields, with which a team of astronauts from the Artemis mission—the successor and successor of the Apollo mission—simulate exploration of the lunar surface, geologists and other scientists rehearse what the collection will be. Like a stone sample.
“It is best to think of the Moon as the eighth continent. It is there, undiscovered, undiscovered … We have been there only six times. We have collected some rocks but we know nothing about the place. It It is our responsibility to go there, understand it better.” , build the research base and it serves for knowledge”, reflects Alexander Gerst.
When asked whether he prefers to step on the Moon or Mars first, he is clear: the Moon is a “much more achievable” goal, as well as a childhood dream. In his opinion, the terrestrial satellite is “like Antarctica 100 years ago”, a place “wide and empty where it was risky to go” but in the end, “has been very worthwhile”.
“The geology of the Moon is very complex., In fact. We have a mixture of volcanic lava, highlands, rocks that can be found in some places on Earth and many craters that disturb the geology and from which we can learn”, explains the astronaut, who insists that the Moon Key Rocks, “they are an open book that serves to read the history of the earth”.
In this regard, remember that moon rocks are very old Compared to those that can be found on Earth, as they can be 3,800 million years old, compared to the volcanic soils of Lanzarote for example a few million years.
He said stepping back on the Moon would “probably” help to find out how Earth’s atmosphere formed or how life on Earth originated. “It’s the kind of thing that we’ll see in moon rocks. And the next big step that you can already see is on the horizon,” Gerst emphasizes in reference to the start-up’s proximity to Artemis.
Quick decisions in 6 hour campaigns
Geologist Francesco Soro, director of the Pangea curriculum, agrees with Gerst and tells Efe that the human ability to make quick decisions and be able to come up with ideas on the fly makes them more flexible than any type of robot or rover. . ,
“We saw this with the Apollo missions. What the astronauts brought in a very short period of time and the missions were unbelievable. With the rover there is no possibility of replacing it”, highlights this Italian scientist, who compared the first voyages with technological changes. For satellites in the late sixties and early seventies.
“Now you can walk around with a small instrument, a telephone or a spectrometer in your hand, and know the chemical composition of a rock in real time. Everything is much more efficient and will make traveling to the Moon better”, concluded. Sauro, who also values the ability to transform ideas or hypotheses in a very short time on the ground, with missions of five or six hours on the surface.
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