Dress rehearsals for NASA’s Moon rocket have begun

The smooth running of operations will determine the launch date of the Artemis 1 mission, the first of the US return to the Moon program (but will not yet include an astronaut). The approximately 48-hour trial began at approximately 5:00 pm local time on Friday, April 1, 2022. For the past two weeks, the 98-metre-high rocket has been sitting on Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B, with the Orion capsule atop where future astronauts will settle. Friday, after“call stations”The countdown to over 45 hours has begun. Rockets and capsules must first be powered up, communications systems checked, and a full range of preparations must be carried out.

Expected take-off date

Then, about 8 hours before dummy liftoff, the rocket’s tanks would fill with more than three million liters of fuel – liquid hydrogen and oxygen, at temperatures of -267 °C and -170 °C, respectively. degree Celsius. Eventually the countdown will be stopped at T-9 seconds just before the engines are ignited. The idea is to simulate a process of forced abandonment, for example due to weather or a technical problem. After this the tanks of the vehicle will be emptied.

The US space agency plans to make the general public aware of the various milestones achieved by SLS. A live video was also available on Youtube – but without sound. Reason given: Some information may be sensitive. SLS. like gears “Prove ballistic capabilities similar to what other countries might be interested in”Tom Whitmire, chief of exploration systems development at NASA, said in a press conference this week. NASA should give the first results of this dress rehearsal on Monday. Maize “It would really take several days to assess not only whether the test passed, but also whether we saw anything unusual that we needed to fix,” warned Mr. Whitmire.

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man on the moon, not before 2025

He said he expects to announce a flight date for Artemis 1 in the coming days. The May launch window will most likely be missed, but early June or early July is more likely. After normal rehearsal, the rocket will be brought back to its hangar for a final series of checks, then taken out for takeoff. Artemis 1 will mark the first flight of the SLS, the development of which took many years behind schedule. The Orion capsule will be carried to the Moon, where it will be put into orbit before returning to Earth. Humans won’t land on the Moon until Artemis 3, for now in 2025 at the earliest.

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