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Artemis: NASA Prepared To Begin New Moon Exploration Era

BBC- The American space agency is counting down the minutes until the Space Launch System, a massive new Moon rocket, takes launch.

The Artemis project, which intends to return people to the lunar surface after a 50-year hiatus, will be built on SLS, the most potent spacecraft ever created by NASA.

The 2040s Mars missions will be built on the foundation laid by the moon expedition.

The launch of the rocket is scheduled on Monday at 08:33 local time (12:33 GMT; 13:33 BST).

Its task will be to launch the Orion test capsule far from Earth.

In six weeks, this spacecraft will make a large arc-shaped circle around the Moon before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Pacific.

For this test, Orion is unmanned, but beginning in 2024, humans will board the spacecraft for a future series of missions that will only get more difficult.

“Everything we’re doing with this Artemis I flight, we’re looking at through the lens of what can we prove out and what can we demonstrate that will buy down risk for the Artemis II crewed mission,” explained Nasa astronaut Randy Bresnik.

Over the coming week, the US space agency will have multiple possibilities to fly SLS-Orion, but it will want to take the first one that is presented to it.

At this time of year, Florida’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable, with regular electrical storms sweeping over the spaceport.

In fact, the lightning towers on the pad have been hit quite a few times lately.

The best time to fly is typically early in the morning, which makes Monday a terrific day. Over the coming week, the US space agency will have multiple possibilities to fly SLS-Orion, but it will want to take the first one that is presented to it.

At this time of year, Florida’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable, with regular electrical storms sweeping over the spaceport.

In fact, the lightning towers on the pad have been hit quite a few times lately.

The best time to fly is typically early in the morning, which makes Monday a terrific day.

“Basically, the beginning of the launch window, or just after 08:30 in the morning, has an 80% chance of favourable weather,” said meteorologist Melody Lovin.

The probability lowers to 60%, though, if technical difficulties cause the launch to be delayed past the authorized two-hour window due to the probable onset of rains. It is forbidden for the rocket to launch in the rain.

Is Artemis the new Apollo for the modern age?

A golden era of space exploration began in 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first tentative steps on the Moon. How we view our world and ourselves has changed as a result of the Apollo program. After 50 years, mankind is once more focused on the Moon. And it is hoped that Artemis would motivate a new generation for people who were not able to see the Apollo missions firsthand.

The brand-new missions will be unique. In order to demonstrate that anyone can explore space, NASA plans to send the first woman and the first person of color to the Moon. The moon’s surface is only the beginning, too. The goal of NASA is Mars, which is even more in the distance. And to actually experience that will be a huge jump.


Around Kennedy, it’s anticipated that over 200,000 people would throng the beaches and causeways. On Sunday, campervans started claiming the prime locations.

The rise ought to be breathtaking.

SLS will launch with a thrust of 39.1 meganewtons (8.8 million pounds). The Apollo astronauts’ Saturn V rockets from the 1960s and 1970s carried about 15% greater thrust than that.

In other words, the engines of the SLS could launch the equivalent of over 60 Concorde supersonic aircraft

“This rocket will be bigger, louder and more impressive than any you’ve seen before,” said Lorna Kenna, vice president of the Jacobs Space Operations Group, a major contractor at Kennedy.

“There’s nothing quite like feeling sound – not just hearing it, but feeling it wash over you.”

 

The main goal of the mission is actually right near the conclusion.

The heatshield on Orion’s spacecraft must be able to withstand the extremely high temperatures it will experience when re-entering the atmosphere of Earth.

Orion will approach incredibly quickly, at a speed of 32 times the speed of sound, or 38,000 km/h (14,000 mph).

“Even the reinforced carbon-carbon that protected the shuttle was only good for around 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,600C),” said Mike Hawes, the Orion programme manager at aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

“Now, we’re coming in at more than 4,000 degrees (2,200C). We’ve gone back to the Apollo ablative material called Avcoat. It’s in blocks with a gap filler, and testing that is a high priority.”

Not only is this voyage significant for NASA, but also for the European Space Agency.

It has given Orion the service module. The back of the capsule is what propels it through space. Europe expects that this in-kind donation will enable the inclusion of its citizens on upcoming lunar surface missions.

Currently, missions via Artemis IX are being prepared.

By that time, humans should be able to operate shelters and roving vehicles on the Moon.

However, Artemis is eventually viewed as a testing ground to send people to Mars.

“The timetable for that was set by President Obama. He said 2033,” recalled Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson.

“Each successive administration has supported the programme and the realistic timeframe that I’m now informed is the late 2030s, maybe 2040.”

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