Artemis I, NASA’s next lunar mission, is moving closer to receiving an actual launch date. NASA personnel reported on March 14 during a press conference that the stacked spacecraft and rocket had been approved to roll out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center on March 17 for pre-launching testings.
Depending on the weather, the Orion spaceship upon the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will travel 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39B. The launch will begin at 5 p.m. local time, and the spacecraft will arrive at its target in about 11 hours.
According to NASA, after the spacecraft & rocket are placed at the launch platform, experts will spend approximately two weeks preparing for a “wet dress rehearsal,” which demonstrates that the spacecraft can be packed with super-cold fluid propellants.
Artemis I Project
The Orion spacecraft can accommodate up to four people, but when the Artemis I expedition launches later this year, it will be free of humans. Orion will transport men into orbit, support them throughout their moon trips, and protect them from harm throughout re-entry from outer space in subsequent Artemis missions.
SLS is the most capable rocket NASA has ever developed, and the spaceship is perched atop it. The SLS will be able to deliver more than 27 tons (24,000 kg) to the moon, producing 15% more power during blastoff and ascension compared to the Saturn V rockets that launched during the 1960s and 1970s space projects.
NASA will designate a definitive launch date for Artemis I following the rollout if all tests are satisfactory (currently stated as “no sooner than May 2022” on NASA’s launch plan). Artemis I is an unmanned spacecraft that will go hundreds of kilometers beyond the moon before returning to Earth in three weeks.
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