Left: A test of an Orion spaceship prototype in 2019. Right: Technicians assemble the Space Launch System rocket in 2021.
NASA/Tony Gray and Kevin O’Connell/Cory Huston/Insider annotations
NASA’s Space Launch System rocket lifted off early Wednesday, launching the Orion capsule on its first moon mission.
The SLS rocket and Orion have undergone critical tests to ensure they’re ready for flight.
The mission, Artemis 1, is an uncrewed flight test before flying astronauts in future missions.
NASA’s first big moon rocket since the Apollo missions roared past the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, blasting off on its maiden voyage.
The mission, called Artemis I, aims to send an Orion spaceship around the moon and back. It’s the first of three flights meant to culminate in landing humans on the surface of the moon for the first time since 1972. Eventually, NASA plans to use the new rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS), to set up a permanent base on the moon.
“This is now the Artemis generation,” Bill Nelson, NASA’s administrator, said at a press briefing on August 3. “We were in the Apollo generation, but this is a new generation, this is a new type of astronaut. And to all of us that gaze up at the moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface, folks, we’re here. We are going back and that journey, our journey, begins with Artemis I.”
NASA’s ambitious 21st century lunar campaign requires powerful and advanced space hardware in the SLS mega-rocket, including its boosters and core stage, and the high-tech crew vehicle called Orion. Here’s how NASA built these powerful pieces of equipment.
No astronauts have set foot on the moon since the last Apollo mission 50 years ago, in 1972.Astronaut Eugene Cernan makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle, during a moonwalk, on December 11, 1972.
NASA/Harrison H. Schmitt
NASA has spent 12 years and $20 billion building a new rocket, SLS, to put boots back on the lunar surface.NASA’s SLS rocket, with the Orion capsule atop, slowly makes its way down the crawlerway at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on March 17, 2022.
The rocket launched an Orion spaceship toward the moon for the first time on Wednesday. The mission is called Artemis I.An illustration of the SLS lifting off from the launchpad in Cape Canaveral, …read more
Source:: Business Insider