Skip to main content

NASA’s next moon astronauts are guaranteed an awesome view

The next astronauts heading to the moon are guaranteed breathtaking views as they approach the lunar surface in the crew module, NASA said this week.

The space agency’s Kathy Lueders has tweeted a photo (below) of a new window panel for the front of the Orion spacecraft that’s set to transport astronauts to the moon in four years’ time for the first lunar landing since 1972.

Lueder’s photo shows a cone panel with openings for large windows that will enable the stunning view. The spacecraft has been designed by Orion’s lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, with the panels manufactured by AMRO Fabricating Corp. of South El Monte, California. The completed panel is now headed for NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, Louisiana, where engineers will weld it and other panels as part of Orion’s pressure vessel.

“It’s truly exciting to have the first piece of the Artemis III Orion spacecraft completed at AMRO that will enable American astronauts to build a sustainable presence on the lunar surface,” said acting Orion program manager Howard Hu.

#Artemis III astronauts will get an awesome view on approach to the Moon thanks to a newly completed window panel for the @NASA_Orion crew module. See the manufacturing process and hear about Orion progress:

— Kathy Lueders (@KathyLueders) August 19, 2020

Currently scheduled for October 2024, the Artemis III mission will be the third flight of NASA’s Orion crew capsule following two test missions. The first, Artemis I, will perform an uncrewed fly-by of the moon in 2021. Artemis II, set for 2023, will mark the first crewed test, and will also involve Orion passing the moon without landing.

How We Are Going to the Moon - 4K

NASA has been hiring new astronauts for further Artemis missions throughout the 2020s and is currently operating various training programs to perfect the various scientific techniques that will enable the astronauts to effectively explore the lunar surface.

NASA says that human exploration of the moon via the Artemis program “offers a unique opportunity to test, refine, and perfect many of the technologies and complex operations that will be needed to land humans on Mars, perform their work on the surface, and safely return them to Earth.”

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Watch NASA’s video teasing the reveal of Artemis moon astronauts
NASA's Orion spacecraft and Earth.

NASA is about to name the four astronauts who'll be sent on a flyby of the moon in a historic mission currently set for next year.

The space agency has just shared a cinematic trailer for the big reveal, which will take place at a special event on Monday, April 3.

Read more
NASA picks a commercial partner to visit the far side of the moon
Rendering of Firefly’s Blue Ghost lunar lander delivering NASA’s LuSEE-Night radio telescope to the far side of the Moon.

NASA has big plans for the moon. From sending the first crewed mission to land on its surface in 50 years to setting up a space station in orbit, the agency has multiple missions planned for exploring our planet's satellite. These include partnerships with a number of private companies as well as NASA-developed projects, such as under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, program which will contract out the transportation of small payloads to the moon.

This week, NASA announced it has selected the company Firefly Aerospace to develop a commercial lander for the far side of the moon. The lander, called Blue Ghost, will be used to deliver several NASA payloads to the moon, including a radio observation mission which is placed on the far side of the moon to minimize the radio noise coming from Earth. This natural radio quiet zone will let the Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment-Night (LuSEE-Night) telescope detect faint radio waves from an early period of the universe known as the cosmic dark ages.

Read more
How to watch NASA unveil its next-generation spacesuit
An artist's illustration showing astronauts on the moon.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

NASA is about to unveil a prototype of the all-new spacesuit that astronauts will wear when they set foot on the moon in the highly anticipated Artemis III mission, which is currently slated for 2025.

Read more