PACKING FOR THE MOON: While advancing its Artemis program – which includes sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 – NASA wants to know what you would pack for a trip to the Moon.

The agency kicked off a new social media campaign this week asking participants to share what would be in their lunar suitcases online using #NASAMoonKit.

To take the challenge to the next level, the agency also has an Expert Mode: follow the strict guidelines astronauts must adhere to when packing their “personal preference kits.” Each astronaut traveling to the International Space Station is only allowed a 5-by-8-by-2-inch (12.7-by-20.3-by-5.1-cm) volume of space to carry personal items. That’s significantly smaller than a standard airplane carry-on bag, which measures 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches.

“We’re excited to see what you would pack for the ultimate adventure – a trip to the Moon,” said Bettina Inclán, NASA’s associate administrator for Communications at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “At a time when many of us are working, teaching or learning from home, this is a unique way to learn more about the Artemis program and join NASA as we prepare for humanity’s next steps on the lunar surface.”

To share your kit, upload a photo or video to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, and include #NASAMoonKit in the posts.

The digital movement will lead into the agency’s Green Run rocket test planned for November. The next time the core stage will fire up again will be for the Artemis I launch next year.

NASA recently published a written plan detailing its Artemis program, including the latest Phase 1 plans to land astronauts on the Moon again within four years.

That plan accompanies the agency’s concept for surface sustainability released earlier this year, which calls for an incremental buildup of infrastructure on the surface later this decade. Ultimately, NASA will use what it learns on and around the Moon to prepare for humanity’s next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars as early as the 2030s.

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