October 1, 2022

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NASA says Artemis is on its way to the moon and back

NASA says Artemis is on its way to the moon and back

That’s the conclusion of Monday’s NASA flight readiness review. The study was an in-depth assessment of the readiness of the 322-foot (98 m) stack that currently houses the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. .

The Artemis team is targeting its first two-hour launch window from 8:33 a.m. ET to 10:33 a.m. ET on Monday, August 29. Windows Edit Backup on September 2 and 5.

“Getting off” after a flight readiness assessment is a positive sign that things are on track for the mission, but there are still factors that can influence when you go off course next week, including inclement weather.

The to-do list is minimal after previous test rounds of the missile on the launch pad during wetsuit drills, which simulate each launch step without taking off. There is one notable element the team will test on launch day, said Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis mission manager.

The hydrogen, which was used to keep the engines warm, did not start during the last wet clothes rehearsal, so the process is now part of the countdown to launch. Charlie Blackwell Thompson, Artemis I launch director at the Kennedy Space Center, said testing would take place at a “quiet point” before the final countdown.

The stack of rockets reached the launch pad on August 17 after a 4-mile (6.4 kilometer) flight in one of NASA’s giant Apollo-era crawlers, just like the space shuttles and Apollo Saturn V rockets once did. .

Unused Artemis I will be launched on a mission beyond the Moon and back to Earth. Once launched, the spacecraft will travel 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) in 42 days to reach a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. Artemis I will hit the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego on October 10. Orion’s return to Earth will be faster and hotter than any spacecraft it has ever seen.

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The Orion spacecraft will travel farther than any man-made spacecraft and will reach 64,000 kilometers farther than the far side of the moon, according to NASA.

There are no people on board, but Orion will carry 120 pounds (54.4 kilograms) of memorabilia, including toys, Apollo 11 items, and three statues.

In the Commander of the Orion’s chair sits Commander Monken Composites, a convenient model for gathering information about what a human crew might encounter in the future on a lunar mission. The model will wear the new Orion Crew Survival System suit designed for astronauts to wear during launch and return. The suit has two radiation sensors.

The mission will launch NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon and land the first woman and first man on the moon by 2025 — eventually paving the way for human exploration of Mars.

Artemis I will also conduct a number of science experiments, some of which will be installed once the rocket and spacecraft reach the launch pad.

This week, Team Artemis will open the Orion hatch once again to install a plush Snoopy doll, which will serve as the mission’s zero-gravity indicator. Once the spacecraft reaches the microgravity environment of space, the Snoopy crew will float through the capsule.

Bob Cabana, associate administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, watched the launch of Apollo 13 as a junior officer at the US Naval Academy.

“I never dreamed of ending up as an astronaut, whether it was the director of the Kennedy Space Center or the position I am in now,” Cabana said. “I’m a product of the Apollo generation and I see what you did for us. And I can’t wait to see what comes from the generation of Artemis because I think it would be more inspiring than what Apollo did. Look at that. In this work during today’s review and we know we’re ready to do it.” . “

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