Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Kelsey Young: The Artemis Program: Technology and Science Take a Giant Leap Together

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My name is Kelsey Young and I'm a Planetary scientist at the NASA Goddard

Space Flight Center and so switching gears a little bit we're gonna talk

about the moon for the next few minutes and so what we're gonna do is talk about

the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which is one of NASA's spacecrafts orbiting

the moon right now and we're also going to talk about how that Lunar

Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft pertains to NASA's ARTEMIS program which

is NASA's plan right now to put the first woman in the next man on the lunar

surface so what we want to do first if we could start this video over is take

sort of a tour of the moon the reason for doing that is kind of highlighting

NASA's LRO or Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft which has been

orbiting the moon now for over a decade collecting data from a number of

different instrument suites so we're gonna through the lens of those

different instruments on the LRO spacecraft take a look at what we're

able to learn on the moon now as we prepare to put people and boots on the

ground back on the lunar surface it's a really exciting time to be a lunar

geologist so sort of our first stop on the tour is the Oriental impact Basin so

this is a really compelling impact crater feature that we can learn a lot

about through the lens of this GRAIL data set or a data set looking at the

gravity of the lunar surface so we can actually peer through the subset and

look at that gravity information which can help us prepare for human

spaceflight on the lunar surface we're now going continuing on our tour to the

lunar South Pole which is where we're going to be sending astronauts as a part

of the ARTEMIS program and those highlighted areas are actually areas

where we think there might be water ice on the lunar surface which is where we

want to send humans to look at how to use that ice to potentially stay

long-term so we're kind of zooming in to the South Pole here and this is a really

exciting time because hopefully we're gonna have astronauts walking around in

Shackleton crater or nearby on the South Pole of the moon but we're zooming back

away we're gonna return to talk about the South Pole later in this talk as we

again prepare for that ARTEMIS program so what you're seeing here is again just

like Oriental we're seeing big impact craters and the biggest of them all is

the South Pole Achan basin on the lunar far side we

don't know the exact age of this structure but it's a really high

priority science objective for when we go back to the lunar

surface so we're now continuing to spin around moving away from the South Pole

even though we'll be going back with humans soon and we're gonna zoom in on

another really compelling structure here a lot of lunar science focuses on Impact

cratering and Volcanology and one of those big impact craters right here is

the Tycho structure the LRO spacecraft affords us really high-resolution

pictures of the lunar surface which is great for when we're preparing to send

humans back to the surface and to give you a sense for how high-resolution it

is that Boulder right there on the top of that central peak is a hundred meters

across and we're able to get really crisp resolution on it and those images

are great for science and they're also great to prep for human exploration

continuing on we're gonna head to a more volcanic feature called Aristarchus

plateau where we see yes impact craters but also some volcanic deposits as well

this has long been a really compelling science target for lunar science we have

a lot left to learn about that and through instrumentation on the LRO

spacecraft it can give us a sense for what that surface is made out of and we

can start to pick apart how these landscapes form but it's not just kind

of going forward it's also learning a lot about where we've already been we've

learned a lot about lunar science and in the last decade in the last decades and

one example of that is zooming in on where humans have been on the lunar

surface and one of those places is the Taurus Littrow valley which is where

astronauts explore the lunar surface through the Apollo 17 mission so what

you'll see here is data from the LRO spacecraft so high you can actually see

the traverses that the Apollo astronauts took on the moon you see there are three

e bas or spacewalks that they took here and zooming in even further I love this

you can actually see the lander where the astronauts landed and you know of

course left their their landing stage there and as you traverse over here you

can actually see the rover which is what the astronauts used to of course drive

around and explore on the lunar surface we're hopefully going to be doing this

again really really soon and one of our last stops on the tour is actually

heading up we've been to the South Pole now we're heading to the North Pole and

the North Pole is also a really compelling science target we have a lot

to learn about potentially using volatile x' we might

find therefore in situ resource utilization and so you can see there's a

lot of compelling science to be left on the moon and the Lunar Reconnaissance

Orbiter is a great way that can tell us about what to expect through its whole

host of diverse set of instruments so we'll continue on here

this is actually a crater on the lunar far side and this is actually a data set

that was taken before the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter got to the moon

so you can see it's pretty fuzzy we really didn't have crisp data this is

interesting scientifically right Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter gave us a lot in

terms of the resolution of data we have on the moon but think about planning a

mission to the moon with people with data sets like these it's really the

data obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that enables us

to plan for NASA's Artemis program here is a picture of the same exact spot on

the lunar surface with the data obtained with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

spacecraft so just to flip back and forth there the LRO spacecraft enables

us to answer these high-priority science questions like the age of the South Pole

lake and basin and allow us to also prepare for when we're gonna want to

send people there it can also not just give us this this great visual imagery

but other missions we've sent to the lunar surface can allow us to peer

beneath the surface so while we want to use these photos and images to design

traverse plans and to answer science questions we also want to probe beneath

the surface and the GRAIL mission actually enabled us to get a look at the

gravity of the lunar surface which helps us understand how that how that moon

evolved and also where it's going in the future so here is actually a look at the

Apollo 11 mission we just passed the 50th anniversary of that mission you can

actually see each kind of stage of that mission there and actually you can even

see the boot tracks that Neil Armstrong took on the lunar surface this really

allows us to place the science scientific samples the geology samples

and even greater context than we ever had before and allow us to really get a

look at where they sampled and here's a great example of looking at the Traverse

of that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took we're able to take those Apollo 11

samples and understand even more about them now that we know exactly where they

went and actly what the context of those samples

are so you're able to see the crater that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

actually had to change last minute their landing site because they had to skim

right over the rim of that crater that they didn't know was there because they

didn't have data that like we're looking at right now so just to give you another

sense of the type of data that LRO is able to collect obviously what you're

noticing here is changing in the middle of the screen there you see a bright

flash and sort of a white spot up here on the image that's actually a new

impact crater that formed since the lifetime of the Lunar Reconnaissance

Orbiter orbiting the moon so the first time it took a picture of this area that

crater was not there the next time it imaged that area the crater was there

what this is telling us is in many ways the moon is still an active place there

are surface processes that are changing the surface of this our nearest

celestial neighbor in observable time and we've observed hundreds of these new

impact craters forming in the ten plus years that LRO has been at the moon and

what does this tell us well space is still an active place also you don't

want to be an astronaut that was standing right underneath where that

object hit the surface of the Moon right so it's helping us to predict how often

these small impact craters are formed on the lunar surface and it also tells us

something about the cratering process as well as how to prepare for the type of

hardware we want to design to explore the lunar surface so the moon is a

really dynamic place the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is helping us

explore that here once again is the Taurus Littrow valley so again this is

the site where the Apollo 17 mission visited the moon this is the last time

we had astronauts on the moon and one thing I kind of want to emphasize today

is you know this is the last time we've put boots on the ground on the lunar

surface as I mentioned earlier NASA's Artemis program is seeking to bring them

back in fact today is NASA's Artemis today I'm not sure if you guys saw that

on social media or anything NASA's Artemis Day is as kind of a way

to bring attention to the ARTEMIS program but what really happened today

is the first time that the core stage of the SLS rocket was assembled at the

Michoud NASA Center down in near New Orleans so today is

NASA day and and and why or excuse me today is NASA's ARTEMIS day and and why

do we have ARTEMIS day well again I think this is a great place to talk

about it this is the last time we've had people on the moon and and today a

really big step was just taken to bring us back and so with that lens in mind

here is a picture boots on the ground from that Taurus Littrow valley Apollo

17 landing site so we just saw a picture taken you know from one of the cameras

on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and here is a picture taken

from the ground this is astronaut Jack Schmitt taking a sample on the lunar

surface on the left side there you'll see the lunar roving vehicle this is a

small rover that the astronauts were able to use to travel even greater

distances away from their landing site as well as to store samples and store

sampling equipment I do a lot of fieldwork here on earth I'm a field

geologist by training I would love to have a roving field assistant that would

come with me on all my fieldwork to be able to carry all of my equipment and

especially those heavy rocks once I pick them up so we learned a lot from this

mission we learned a lot from all the Apollo missions we especially learned a

lot from Apollo 17 that guy right there Jack Schmitt was a geologist prior to

becoming an astronaut so we actually put a scientist on the moon in this mission

we learned a lot about how to sample on the moon actually if you head over to

that NASA booth but later you can actually see some of the the hardware

that we were able to not the exact hardware that's a museum it's about

mock-ups of the tools that we were able to use on the Apollo on the lunar

surface and Apollo and it was really you know these missions that taught us a lot

about the properties of the lunar surface and and I can tell you that

right now we're taking a lot of these lessons learned that these of these

astronauts taught us and we're applying them to where we're going with the

ARTEMIS program so this is kind of a movie showing illumination conditions at

the lunar South Pole again NASA's ARTEMIS program is going to push the

first woman and the next man on the lunar surface and we're going to the

South Pole so we don't know exactly the x marks the spot on the lunar surface

where these astronauts are going we do know that it'll be near the South Pole

and what these data are showing you is actually the illumination conditions

the pole and so you can see that we're marching through the Year 2024 down here

in 2024 is the year that we've been charged with for when we want to put

these astronauts on the surface and so what you're seeing here is is kind of a

time-lapse of what it will look like in terms of illumination when we are able

to put to put astronauts on the lunar surface so just for a minute

picture that you're one of those astronauts you're landing on the lunar

surface you want to do geology you want to plant the flag you want to learn

about all these science questions that we've talked about that we're learning a

lot about from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter the lighting conditions at the

pole just given orbital dynamics and where the moon is versus the Sun make it

pretty complex to work at the South Pole lighting can be a challenge even in the

Apollo missions the astronauts noted that the sort of semi oblique lighting

angles that they were working with made it hard to judge distance they couldn't

tell how far they were from a site of interest they knew that the crater rim

they wanted to reach was just over there but it looked a lot shorter than the

distance actually was just because of the way the light was playing over their

landing site versus the lighting they're used to operating in on the Earth's

surface in training the South Pole is is a different beast

it's even more complex illumination will be a challenge we're working on right

now how to what kind of challenge that will be how to train the astronauts to

prepare them for that challenge how to make sure the hardware can withstand

that challenge and I really love this image because right now scientists are

preparing for how to do science in these illumination conditions but more

importantly the operators who are designing Rover hardware and spacesuit

hardware and training the astronauts and how to operate in those conditions are

looking at visuals just like this to prepare us for what that exploration is

going to look like so next time you're kind of outside if you do field work or

even if you just go on a hike imagine trying to do that and you know execute

your traverse plan in these really really variable lighting conditions and

I really just want to stress that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is the

spacecraft that's really enabled us to get these really great datasets that

help tell us hey there's a lot of science left to learn on the moon we've

gone back and looked at the Apollo landing sites in a lot greater detail

and understood the samples that those astronauts collected and placed them in

even a higher resolution context than we ever had before and I'm a you know I'm a

geologist who thinks about science integration into human spaceflight so

hear a lot about field geology and I especially care about doing field

geology on the moon and so here we are training astronauts designing Hardware

designing sampling and science hardware Institue analytical hardware but also

the hardware that's going to keep our astronauts alive in terms of Rover

spacesuit technology sampling technology and it's these kind of data sets they're

gonna help get us there so again just to reflect back you know we've seen a lot

of amazing imagery of the moon amazing data from the moon the Lunar

Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft is kind of what's helping us get there

but we're looking forward to the future and that's the ARTEMIS program like I

mentioned today is ARTEMIS day and again that means that the SLS rocket or the

rocket that's going to launch astronauts that will one day explore the moon has

had its core stage assembled for the first time so what that means is this is

a massive many years in the making step that really gets us one huge, huge, huge

leap forward and in putting in putting humans back on the moon on the ARTEMIS

program and one thing we want to talk about too is that you know the moon is

just the first step there's a lot left to be learned and of course the ultimate

goal is right up here in the corner of the screen we're focusing on the moon

now but all of this is to one day you know get humans to Mars and get more

spacecraft to Mars and so it's an exciting time to be at NASA and it's

certainly exciting time to reflect back on the moon we really kind of

demonstrated 2019 has been the year of the moon with the 50th anniversary of

the Apollo mission but you know I think it's time to look forward to the future

and and the future is kind of right here

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