NASA’s uncrewed mission to the moon will be overseen by volunteers from around the world

Artemis spacecraft in front of the moon

Getty Images/Tima_Cell

The goal of the Artemis mission is to send astronauts to the Moon and beyond. The first phase of the mission, Orion’s unmanned flight test, will be monitored by volunteers around the world, including private citizens.

Selected participants from around the world come from diverse backgrounds and locations, including five international space agencies, one academic institution, nine commercial organizations, one non-profit and two private citizens. According to NASA.

See: What is Artemis? Everything you need to know about NASA’s new moon mission

18 volunteers were able to participate by responding to a “Request for Grants” issued by NASA in August on a non-financial basis.

“We received dozens of calls from antenna owners and operators around the world asking, ‘How can we get involved?'” said John Hudiburg, SCaN’s Mission Assurance Manager. “This is our answer — show what you can do while supporting the next big thing in human space exploration.”

These volunteers will use their respective ground antennas to monitor and measure changes in the radio waves sent by Orion, and determine whether the spacecraft’s signals can be picked up first.

Once Orion returns to Earth from its flight, the data collected will be analyzed by NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program. If the antennas are successful, NASA says the antennas and supporting data could be used to make observational measurements of future missions beyond the moon.

“We are grateful for these contributions from fellow researchers everywhere,” said Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator and SCaN project manager. “What NASA is Doing on Behalf of All Humanity.”

Artemis I is targeted for a Nov. 14 launch after three previous launch dates were scrubbed due to weather and technical issues.

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