Hansen Crater: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has recently named a crater on the South Pole of the Moon after Arctic explorer Dr. Matthew Alexander Henson.
- The crater has been named the Hansen crater.
- Matthew Henson was a Black man who became one of the first people to stand on top of the world, in 1909.
- The proposal to name the crater after Henson was put forward by Jordan Bretzfelder, a visiting graduate researcher from the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Exploration Science program.
About Matthew Henson:
- Henson (1866–1955) was an experienced explorer and skilled carpenter & craftsman.
- He was an experienced explorer and spent 18 years with Peary exploring the Arctic.
- He was hired in 1887 by explorer Robert Peary, and he eventually became a key member of Peary’s expeditions, including the one that ultimately reached the North Pole.
- The final push of that expedition was made by Henson, Peary, and four Inuit companions named Ooqueah, Ootah, Eningwah and Seegloo, all traveling by dog sledge.
- Henson was in the lead of the group as they searched for the pole.
- However, Henson did receive accolades at the time for his historic achievement because of the racist attitudes and Peary was honored for the accomplishment instead.
- The Artemis program studies planetary processes and seeks to create the infrastructure to advance human exploration at the moon and, eventually, Mars.
- This programme was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Note: Henson Crater is located in the Moon’s south pole, between Sverdrup and de Gerlache craters, in the region of the Artemis program.
- The Henson Crater is in the same region where the Artemis program by NASA aims to land the next generation of lunar explorers.
About International Astronomical Union (IAU):
- International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a non-governmental organization set up with the objective of advancing astronomy in all aspects such as promoting astronomical research, outreach, education, and development through global cooperation.
- It was founded in 1919.
- It is headquartered in Paris, France.