October 7, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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How to watch NASA's Artemis 1 launch on the moon

How to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 launch on the moon

After months of testing, troubleshooting, and repairs, NASA ran into problems supplying its Lunar Rocket with its Space Launch System early Monday, Forcing the agency to rub The scheduled launch of its Artemis 1 test flight – critical mission To send an unmanned Orion crew capsule on a 42-day mission beyond the moon and back.

The launch was originally planned for 8:33 AM EST, the opening of a two-hour window. The next launch opportunity will be on Friday, September 2, at 12:48 PM EST, if issues are resolved by then.

Showers moved with lightning five nautical miles from Launch Pad 39B just after midnight, forcing launch manager Charlie Blackwell Thompson to delay the start of the fuel loading by 55 minutes. The six-hour procedure finally began at 1:13 a.m. EDT.

then Hydrogen leak detected while refueling. Another issue as the countdown began in its final hours was troubleshooting to find the cause of a faulty momentary communications in one of the channels transmitting commands and telemetry to and from the Orion spacecraft. Another possible issue was a possible indication of a leak of some kind, a crack in the thermal insulation or some other problem spotted on the outside of the rocket’s core stage.

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The Space Launch System’s moon rocket atop Platform 39B on the morning of Monday, August 29, 2022, awaiting liftoff on a mission to send an unmanned Orion capsule on a 42-day extortionate journey beyond the moon and back.

NASA


The launch, when it happens, will be an impressive sight. The SLS, NASA’s most powerful rocket ever, contains four shuttle-era engines and two extended solid-fuel boosters that will generate 8.8 million pounds of thrust to propel the 5.7 million pound rocket off the 39B cushion at Kennedy Space Center.

missile part of Artemis 1 The mission will take just 1 hour and 36 minutes, propelling the Orion capsule and the European Space Agency’s Orion service module into space, beyond Earth’s orbit, and on a path toward the Moon.

After a close flyby of just 60 miles, Orion will return to a distant lunar orbit for two weeks of tests and departures.

If all goes well, the capsule will retreat toward the moon for another flyby on October 3, which will result in a high-speed descent to Earth, with a landing in the Pacific Ocean on October 10.

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The 322-foot-tall SLS, the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, as it lifts off to Platform 39B.

NASA


NASA plans to follow up on the Artemis 1 mission by launching four astronauts on a circular flight around the Moon in 2024, paving the way for the first astronaut landing in nearly 50 years. near the South Pole. The first woman and the next man could step on the moon in the 2025-26 time frame.

It is thought that there may be ice deposits in lunar craters near the pole, and future astronauts may be able to “extract” this ice if it is present and accessible, turning it into air, water and even rocket fuel to dramatically reduce the cost of deep space exploration.

Overall, the Artemis astronauts will conduct extensive exploration and research to learn more about the origin and evolution of the Moon and to test the instruments and procedures that will be necessary before sending astronauts to Mars.

But first, NASA must demonstrate that the rocket and capsule will work as planned — and that starts with the launch of Artemis 1.

The goal of the Artemis 1 mission is to put the Orion spacecraft in its stride, testing its solar power, propulsion systems, navigation and life support before returning to Earth on October 10 and diving 25,000 miles per hour back into an atmosphere that will subject it to a heat shield of up to 5,000 hellish degrees. .

Testing the heat shield and ensuring that it can protect returning astronauts from deep space is the first priority of the Artemis 1 mission.

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Artist’s impression of the Orion spacecraft passing by the moon.

NASA