Artemis I: NASA Aims To Launch First Leg Of Moon Mission On September 27


NASA aims to launch Artemis I, the first leg of the Artemis Moon Mission, on September 27, 2022. The 70-minute launch window on the planned date will open at 11:37 am EDT (9:07 pm IST). The United States space agency will conduct the demonstration test for Artemis I on September 21. A potential backup opportunity of October 2 is under review, the space agency said on its website. The 109-minute launch window on October 2 will open at 2:52 pm EDT (12:22 am IST).

Artemis I is the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems, and an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration. The Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the ground systems at NASA Kennedy Space Center are the space agency’s deep space exploration systems.

Artemis I will take off from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA previously called off two launch attempts of Artemis I due to technical issues with the SLS rocket.

Why Did NASA Select September 27 As Launch Date For Artemis I?

On September 8, NASA announced that the space agency was looking at September 23 and 27 as possible dates for the launch of Artemis I. After careful assessment, NASA decided to launch Artemis I no earlier than September 27. This is because teams will have more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test, and later more time to prepare for the launch. Also, managers can ensure the teams have enough rest and can properly replenish supplies of cryogenic propellants.

ALSO READ | Artemis I Launches On September 27: All About First Leg Of NASA’s Moon Mission

Artemis Teams Have Completed Repair Work On SLS

Last week, Artemis I teams completed repair work in the area of ​​a hydrogen leak. They reconnected the ground- and rocket-side plates on the quick disconnect for the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line, where two seals were replaced. The quick disconnect connects the ground system to the rocket. It is also the region where liquid hydrogen is fed into the rocket.

How Will The Demonstration Test Be Conducted?

This week, Artemis I teams aim to conduct tests at ambient conditions to ensure there is a tight bind between the two plates. The teams will check this again during the cryogenic demonstration, and later commerce preparations for the test.

Launch controllers will load super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen into the core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage of the SLS rocket, as part of the demonstration test. This will allow the Artemis teams to confirm whether the hydrogen leak has been repaired.

The teams will also evaluate updated propellant loading procedures designed to reduce thermal and pressure-related stress on the system. After this, they will conduct a kick-start bleed test. This is a test designed to chill the engines down to a temperature of minus 251 degrees Celsius to prepare them for their super-chilled propellant.

What Is Artemis I All About?

Artemis I will be an uncrewed test flight. Orion will be carried atop the super-heavy lift rocket, SLS, without any human in the capsule. If Artemis I is successful, it will be certified that the SLS and Orion can be used for the other two Artemis missions, which will be crewed flights.

The duration of Artemis I will be 42 days, three hours, and 20 minutes. Orion will launch atop SLS, the most powerful rocket in the world, and will fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. Over the course of the mission, Orion will travel a distance of approximately 4,50,000 kilometers from Earth and 64,000 kilometers beyond the far side of the Moon. The spacecraft will stay in space longer than any human spacecraft has without docking to a space station. Orion will also return home faster and hotter than ever before.

Artemis I will demonstrate the performance of both Orion and SLS and test NASA’s capabilities to orbit the Moon and return to Earth. The first uncrewed test flight of the Artemis Program will pave the way for future missions to the lunar vicinity, including landing the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the Moon.

The objective of Artemis I is to set the stage for human exploration into deep space, where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar exploration missions and to other destinations farther from Earth, including the Red Planet.


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