The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is ready for the Artemis 1 mission. Due to technical defects, its launch was repeatedly postponed, and after a successful “wet public rehearsal”, it was scheduled to take place at the end of August. The unmanned mission is a test ground for the Orion capsule, which is expected to bring astronauts to the Moon within three years.
On Tuesday night, the nearly 100-meter-long SLS rocket was moved from the Assembly Center at John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the launch site, the 39B rocket launcher.
The spacecraft’s journey wasn’t long. The distance between the two points is less than 6.4 kilometers, but due to its dimensions, the transfer took 11 hours.
There is a start date
The Artemis 1 mission is scheduled to launch on August 29. The SLS rocket, topped by an empty Orion transfer capsule, will be launched toward the moon. The car will orbit the satellite and then return to the Earth’s surface. The US space agency said Orion will remain in space longer than any spacecraft in history, and its return will be “faster and hotter than ever before.”
This mission lasts several weeks and ends with the launch of the ship in the Pacific Ocean.
Four main test methods
Initially, the Artemis 1 mission was supposed to start in 2018, but its launch has been repeatedly delayed. Several technical problems were the cause. The missile was first flown to the launch site in March of this year for a major test of mission success. The so-called “wet wear test” simulates every stage of take-off except for getting off the launch pad. Includes operating the rocket and Orion spacecraft, loading fuel into the rocket’s tanks, a complete countdown to takeoff, resetting the countdown counter, and emptying the rocket’s tanks.
But the first and the next two were unsuccessful. In April, the test was postponed due to problems with loading fuel into the rocket. Only after the success of the trial in June was it decided that the expedition could take off soon.
The goal: to return to the moon
Artemis 1 is the first stage of the as yet unmanned program, the goal of which is to land another human on the moon. If the flight is successful, in May 2024, the capsule and its crew will orbit the moon. It will be the mission of Artemis 2. People will have to put their legs on the Silver Globe in 2025 as part of Artemis 3.
The last time humans landed on the moon was in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission.
Reuters, NASA, EarthSky, PAP, NYT, tvnmeteo.pl
Main image source: PAP / EPA / Joel Kowsky / HANDOUT
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