Technology

The Key to the Artemis I Mission, the NASA Program That Will Bring Us Back to the Moon

Since the last man set foot on the moon in 1972, no mission has brought humans back to our satellite., But now, 50 years later, the return may represent the beginning of a new era.

At the time of publishing this news, the US space agency is still This Wednesday, November 16 at 7:04 a.m. Spanish Peninsular Time, the date and time at which the two-hour launch window opens for the first flight of the Artemis I mission., But past experience alerts us to hopes of taking the SLS megarocket and Orion spacecraft into the skies, as the launch of this program has already been delayed four times.

The Artemis I mission management team met on Sunday evening to review the status of launch preparations and “carried forward They get confirmation from NASA, to move toward the launch attempt on Nov. 16. A new meeting has taken place during this Monday afternoon to review the status of countdown operations, as well as two open technical elements.

Everything is perfect: “Engineers carried out a detailed analysis of the putty in a seam between a warhead in the Orion launch abort system and the crew module adapter and the potential risk if it were to displace during launch. The mission management team determined that there is little chance that if additional material is released, it will pose a significant risk. for flight.”

Technicians also completed the replacement of an electrical connector component on the cord of the Hydrogen Tail Service Mast. “Although replacing the component did not completely solve the problem, engineers have redundant sources of information supplied through the connector,” he explains.

,Live coverage of the tanking operation with commentary on NASA TV begins Tuesday, November 15 at 3:30 p.m. EST., Full coverage of the English launch will begin at 10:30 p.m. and Spanish broadcast coverage NASA It will start at 12 a.m. on Wednesday”, they report from the space agency.

The SLS rocket with the Orion capsule, part of the Artemis 1 mission, in a file photograph.
NASA

a mission that never comes

As we say, the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft has already suffered many delays,

First, the mission was previously delayed by the development of the rocket assembly and tuning process. And not only that: the successor to the historic Apollo program—which led to Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin to write their names on the pages of the history of our species This began to take shape in 2005, when the green light was given to launch a ‘constellation’ under the mandate of George W Bush.A new space flight program.

However, in subsequent years, due to several delays and fears of cost escalation, program canceled under the command of Barack ObamaTaking a new direction in 2010, when the United States Congress approved the development of a new rocket to continue the Orion capsule projects and power the mission.

Once it was finally ready, even sometimes being prepared on the same launch pad and with the spacecraft mounted, Takeoff has had to be postponed up to four times,

The first date given was 29 August, but on that occasion the launch had to be postponed due to an engine failure.


Engineers are working to fix them after the fault at the beginning of the month.

Before launch time, NASA had already announced the failure that allowed them to launch the SLS . K Engine 3 was prevented from achieving the temperature it was looking for, In a statement, the agency had explained that the team was conditioning the engines by “increasing pressure in the central stage tanks to purge some of the cryogenic propellant”. However, he was not getting the proper condition of Engine 3.

In addition, in that effort the team also found “a crack in the material of the thermal protection system in one of the central stage’s flanges”.

The next scheduled date was 2 September, although a launch attempt for a third was eventually officially confirmed. “We are moving again for our launch effort on Saturday, we feel comfortable with our risk posture”, Michael Serafin, manager of Artemis I mission, told the press briefing. And he added: “Having said this, There’s no guarantee we’ll go out on Saturday, but we’ll try,

This was a failed attempt to launch NASA's Artemis I spacecraft.
This was a failed attempt to launch NASA’s Artemis I spacecraft.
Europa Press

Unfortunately, the space agency had to delay the test due to a leak in the transfer of fuel in the rocket.

After that, the space agency said it would conduct demonstration tests “no earlier than September 21” and would in theory have a new launch opportunity. September 27 “under review with potential backup opportunity on October 2”,

Finally, the emergence of Hurricane Ian in the world, and for Florida its special crisis NASA decided that the third launch attempt for Artemis I would not take place on time. Again,


Orion will launch next week inside the SLS Mega rocket.

It was decided that the new date would be 14 November, and We were there when another storm struck, this time with a woman’s name, and a fourth delay was applied for the launch of the mission. So now we hope Nicole doesn’t drop too many results and this Wednesday we can finally see the SLS fly by.

What is Artemis I?

long term, The program aims to lay the foundation for a new era of space explorationOne of which is the establishment of a permanent lunar base, the first quest for the extraction of lunar resources, and ultimately serving as a springboard for future manned missions to the planet. marte,

The crew will also test the new spacesuit Which will allow for greater mobility as well as new communication and life support systems.

Mission Name Refers to goddess Artemis, goddess of Apollo and twin sisterIn Greek mythology she is considered the goddess of the moon, but also of hunting, animals and virgin nature.

a) yes, Artemis I will be the first in a series of missions aimed at taking humans back to the Moon., This first attempt to send an Orion space capsule into space will help the NASA team verify that the ship is capable of performing the maneuvers for which it is designed, as well as re-entering Earth’s atmosphere at high speed— It has been estimated that it will run – and remain so – at a speed of around 40,000 kilometers per hour.

During this flight, Orion will launch on the world’s most powerful rocket and will fly farther than any spacecraft designed for humans., During the mission, it will travel 450,000 km from Earth and 64,000 km on the far side of the Moon. Orion will stay in space longer than any manned spacecraft without docking with the space station.

If everything goes according to plan, Orion’s unmanned test will land in the Pacific Ocean on December 11, 2022, but not before collecting lunar information for scientists on Earth over the course of 25 days, 11 hours and 36 minutes, the mission is expected to run. In this time, it would have covered a distance of about 20 lakh kilometers.

Chronology of the Artemis I mission.
Chronology of the Artemis I mission.
NASA

SLS Mega Rocket

nasa mega rocket The Space Launch System (SLS) is a launch vehicle designed to explore deep space, It has four large rocket motors and two solid-state boosters, and its construction – which lasted a decade – cost $18 million.

The SLS is composed of a main stage, two SRB boosters (located on either side), an interim cryogenic propulsion stage (recognized as ICPS) and four RS-25 engines located at its base.

According to its developers, is capable of carrying about 27 metric tons into the Moon’s general regionIt weighs 85 tons and is 98 meters high.


Orion will launch next week inside the SLS Mega rocket.

orion ship

Orion is a ship that will carry astronauts In space, without relying on third parties, it is mounted on top of an SLS rocket and its mission will last between 26 and 42 days. NASA plans to use capsules to carry us Luna in 2026.

The ship is made up of three parts: a launch cancellation system, a crew module—a design similar to the Apollo program’s ships module and capacity for up to four crew members who can survive independently for 21 days—and a service module whose mission is propulsion. is to provide thermal, control and electrical power, as well as to provide water, oxygen and nitrogen until the crew module detaches and re-enters Earth,


It can carry four astronauts.

How will the launch take place?

SLS and Orion will take off from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s modernized Kennedy Spaceport. Powered by a pair of five-section thrusters and four RS-25 engines, The rocket will reach the period of greatest atmospheric force in 90 seconds, Solid rocket boosters will burn their propellant and separate after about 2 minutes, and the core stage and RS-25s will run out of propellant after about 8 minutes.

After scraping the thrusters, service module panels and launch abort system, The core stage engines will shut down and the core stage will separate from the spacecraft.Connects Orion to the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) that will propel it toward the Moon.

Recreation of the Orion capsule traveling to the Moon.
Recreation of the Orion capsule traveling to the Moon.
NASA

As the spacecraft orbits Earth and unfurls its solar panels, ICPS will give Orion the big boost it needs to leave Earth’s orbit and travel to the Moon, This maneuver, known as translunar injection, targets a point around the Moon that would guide Orion close enough to be captured by the Moon’s gravity.

Orion will separate from the ICPS about two hours after launch. Later, ICPS will deploy ten small satellites, known as CubeSats, to study the Moon or headed to deep space destinations., As Orion continues its path from Earth’s orbit to the Moon, it will be powered by a service module provided by European Space Agency (ESA) Which will correct the course as needed along the way.

From there the mission of the spacecraft and its scientific experiments orbiting the Moon will begin. With Orion, scientists are expected to test lunar gravity, radiation hazards, and take pictures of our natural satellite.,

At the time of publishing this article, Weather conditions were still 90% favorable For the launch of Artemis I as predicted by United States Space Force meteorologists for Monday, November 14.

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