Explained: What is Lunar Evacuation System

Astronauts test prototype of LESA under the sea. (Express Photo: European Space Agency)

Among preparations for NASA s 2024 Moon mission, one has been to test a device called Lunar Evacuation System Assembly, or LESA. Developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), LESA is a pyramid-like structure whose purpose is to rescue an astronaut should he or she suffer an injury on the lunar surface. Astronauts will be wearing heavy extravehicular activity (EVA) suits and, as ESA head of spacewalk training Herv Stevenin said in a statement, There is no way an astronaut could carry their fallen crewmate over their shoulder while wearing an EVA suit.

LESA can be operated by a single astronaut to rescue a fallen colleague. It enables an astronaut to lift their crewmate onto a mobile stretcher in less than 10 minutes, before carrying them to the safety of a nearby pressurised lander, the ESA statement said. Astronauts are testing LESA under the sea. With its rocky, sandy terrain and buoyant salt water, the bottom of the ocean floor has much in common with the lunar surface, ESA said.