Roulage de la SLS vu depuis le VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building), le bâtiment d'assemblage. Tout est démesuré ! © Kim Shiflett, Nasa

It’s the first time he’s been there launcher SLS (space launch system) It shows itself perfectly to the audience Cap Canaveral. accompanied by full moon, the SLS dominates the historic launch site as it slowly makes its way to Launch Pad 39B. It reminds observers and an entire generation of the path the Saturn V took to the launch pad itself before dispatch astronauts Ali the moon. It is an essential step for NASA who succeeded SLS moon rocket launch. Now what next?

The SLS has reached the launch pad, what now?

We will now have to verify that the SLS adapts well to its launchpad. NASA has scheduled a rehearsal for early April. The exact date has not yet been reported. In this general exercise, the SLS tank filling test has been specifically included. take off, rocket The moon will be consumedOxygen And thehydrogen in the state liquid. If the tanks have already been pre-tested until explosion, this is to ensure that everything is working fine under the conditions of the countdown to launch.

Once the rehearsal is over, NASA will announce the take-off date. Possible takeoff either from May 7th if all goes well, or later in the summer as expected. There will be no one on board the spaceship Orion which was placed over the launcher of the Titanic. Artemis I is a qualification mission, both for spacecraft manufactured in Europe and the United States, and especially for the SLS produced by Boeing. If the mission is successful, the Artemis II astronauts will take over.

year trip

Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center experienced Apollo 10The US space shuttlerelease space station Skylabor even the peace mission Apollo Soyuz. Renewed and reinforced to be able to withstand a weight equivalent to 2,125 African elephants! It is powerful enough to hold 2,628 tons of an SLS moon rocket. The latter will play a role in the mission for only one hour and fifty-three minutes. The rest of the mission concerns the Orion ship and will last about 25 days.

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In T-0, the launch will start with the update shooting Four RS-25 engines plus two giant engines thrusters fuel booster Solid Provided by Northrop Grumman. They will be expelled after two minutes, completely empty of fuel. The RS-25 engines would continue to roar for another six minutes and fourteen seconds. At this point, the main stage of SLS can be identified by the color Red, it will have finished its work and we will already be at an altitude of more than 150 kilometers, and therefore in space.

Two minutes after the launch of the main stage, Orion ship Solar panels will be deployed. The protective panels as well as the salvage turret, an essential device for ejecting the ship and its passengers, would already have been disposed of if the missile caught fire on the launch pad or while in transit.Atmosphere.

It wasn’t long, 54 minutes after launch, that the second-stage propulsion, ICPS, was provided by United Launch Alliance (ULA). ICPS is used for the first time to gain altitude and a second time after half an hour to inject the Orion spacecraft onto transport orbit towards the moon. Once its mission is complete, the ICPS is dropped. Then we will take the opportunity to take out dozens cubes who are secondary passengers on this flight.

around the moon

This isn’t Orion’s first demonstration flight. She actually made her first flight in 2014, as part of the programme constellation, Introduction to Artemis Program. This flight will allow him to test again the manned unit, which is also manufactured by Lockheed Martin service unit Provided by the European Space Agency (ESA).this is). The path that Orion will achieve during the Artemis I mission is equivalent to the mission path Apollo 8.

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It will take just over three days to reach the moon. To match the orbit, Orion will pass nearly 100 kilometers from the surface and will use gravity moon to increase Speed. With the help of some corrections, the ship will then go into a retrograde orbit around the Moon. In fact, the spacecraft will orbit the Moon in the opposite direction of its revolution around the Earth.

The Orion spacecraft will stay for just over six days in orbit around the Moon. NASA will take the opportunity to recover the data and test the ship’s various communications and navigation systems. To communicate with him, NASA will use a file deep space networkAntenna array used to interact with interplanetary probes.

The Orion ship will feature an experiment (Mare) designed to measure the level of radiation that the ship’s passengers can be exposed to. Around the moon, we are almost no longer protected by Earth’s magnetic field Which deflects the particles it expels Soleil. On the ship, two mannequins will be covered sensors Someone will wear a pilot jacket that’s supposed to block out some of the radiation.

Return to Earth and continue the program

To leave the Moon’s orbit and return to Earth, Orion will once again pass nearly 100 kilometers at an altitude to accelerate, using not only the lunar gravity to do so but also using the service module’s main engine. It will then place itself in a moving orbit in the direction of our planet. The trip should last a little more than three days.

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After a three-week journey covering more than 1.3 million kilometers, the Orion spacecraft will return to Earth. Before entering Earth’s atmosphere, the habitable unit will separate from the service unit. The latter is unprotected, it will burn in the atmosphere as it falls as the habitable unit passes through it, protected by its own heat shield. His descent will end under the umbrella. It is supposed to land in the Pacific Ocean off California. The Artemis I quest will then be completed.

We will have to be patient for the rest, depending on the results of this first mission. Artemis II should not happen before 2023, or even 2024. This will be the program’s first mission with astronauts on board but they will not land on the Moon. They’ll walk around in “rehearsal” mode, as was the case with Apollo 10. That’s the mission Artemis III Which will bring astronauts back to the surface of a natural satellite, including the first ever lunar walk.

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