[Discussion Post] What is NASA's big announcement?

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According to the article, NASA TO MAKE MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF ‘EXCITING NEWS’ ABOUT THE MOON, the Statospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) made a major discovery that is relevant to the planned 2024 Artemis mission to put people back on the moon. The discovery will be announced during a briefing at noon, US/Eastern time on Monday, October 26 and it will be LiveStreamed on NASA's web site.


Original photo by @remlaps, July 5, 2020

Discussion Question 1: What do you think the announcement will be? Be as specific as you can.

I have a guess, but I'll keep it to myself until others have a chance to weigh in with their own thoughts.

Discussion Question 2: What are your general thoughts about the planned 2024 Artemis mission to put the first woman and the next man on the moon? Will it be a success? Will it be on time? Who do you think the astronauts might be - one of the currently active astronauts or someone else? Any other thoughts on the topic?

In order not to unduly influence the discussion, I'll hold off for now on this question as well. I'll post my thoughts on both questions during the week-end.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the topic!

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My bets are on water more evenly distributed than we thought not only in the poles.

I think the goal of going to the Moon is good, however I'd personally prefer Mars, it's more difficult but smarter in the long run.


Your guess about water distribution seems like a good one. Thanks for the reply!

I agree with your point that Mars is a more useful and exciting goal. The article where I learned about this announcement does mention, though, that they see the Artemis mission as step 1 in getting to Mars. They plan to use the Moon base as a staging ground for Mars missions in the 2030s. So hopefully, we'll see both achievements in the next couple of decades.



Yeah, that's the argument: first the Moon with a cis-lunar station (like the Deep Space Gateway), but I'm not so sure.
Having too many goals make the final objective too expensive.

I hope NASA to be succesful, tho.



Congratulations to @sarahjay for the very close guess. From this video:

Today we are announcing for the first time that water has been confirmed to be present on a sunlit surface of the Moon. This is exciting because the expectation is that any water present on a sunlit surface of the Moon would not survive the lunar day. This discovery reveals that water might be distributed across the lunar surface and not limited to the cold shadowed places near the lunar poles where we have previously discovered water ice.