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A Moonlit Moonwalk

At night, an astronaut wearing white gear places a sample marker in the soil. The soil in front of her is lit up by the lights on the front of the open helmet. Two people in bright vests look on. In the background on the left, another astronaut wearing a similar outfit looks at another patch of soil.
NASA/Josh Valcarcel

NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, foreground, and Andre Douglas execute a nighttime simulated moonwalk in the San Francisco Volcanic Field in Northern Arizona on May 16, 2024, as part of the Joint Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Test Team Field Test 5 (JETT5). The test consisted of four simulated moonwalks that followed operations planned for Artemis III and beyond. During the test, two integrated teams worked together as they practiced end-to-end lunar operations. The field team consisted of astronauts, NASA engineers, and field experts in the Arizona desert conducting the simulated moonwalks, while a team of flight controllers and scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston monitored and guided their activities.

At the conclusion of each simulated moonwalk, the science team, flight control team, crewmembers, and field experts came together to discuss and record lessons learned. NASA will take these lessons and apply them to operations for NASA’s Artemis missions, commercial vendor development, and other technology development. 

See more images from the JETT5 field test.

Image Credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel