For the first time in 50 years, a spacecraft is preparing to embark on a journey to the Moon. It will be the first step before bringing humans back to the natural satellite.
The uncrewed Artemis I mission, which includes the Space Launch System Rocket and the Orion spacecraft, aims to lift off on August 29. between 8:33 am ET and 10:33 am ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Step by step of the mission to the moon
The Orion spacecraft will enter a distant retrograde orbit of the Moon and it will travel 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) farther, going farther than any spacecraft intended to carry humans.
The agency will share live views as well as coverage in English and Spanish before, during and after the launch of Artemis I on your website and on NASA TV. The broadcast will begin at 12 am ET when the supercold propellant is loaded onto the SLS rocket.
As part of the program, the appearances of celebrities JJack Black, Chris Evans and Keke Palmer and performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock and “America the Beautiful” by The Philadelphia Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Once you take off: What’s next?
Once launch occurs, NASA will hold a post-launch briefing. This same Monday, after the launch, The agency will share the first views of Earth from cameras aboard the Orion spacecraft.
Orion’s journey it will last 42 days as it travels to the moon, around it and back to Earth, traveling a total of 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles). The capsule will land in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego on October 10.
Cameras on and off Orion will share images and video throughout the mission, including live views of the Callisto experiment, which will capture a sequence of a mannequin named Commander Moonikin Campos sitting in the commander’s seat. If you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you can ask it for the location of the mission every day.
Late Sunday night through early Monday morning, the launch team will hold a briefing to discuss conditions weather conditions and decide whether to “go” or “no go” to start fueling the rocket.
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If all looks good, the team will start fueling the rocket’s core stage eight hours before launch. Five hours earlier, the upper stage will start fueling. Subsequently, the team will complete and replenish the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen which dissipates during the fueling process.
Approximately 50 minutes before launch, the final briefing by NASA’s test manager will take place. A planned 30-minute countdown will begin 40 minutes before launch.
The launch director will poll the team to ensure all stations are “running” 15 minutes before takeoff.
At 10 minutes and counting, things kick into high gear as the spacecraft and rocket make their way through the final steps.. Much of the action takes place at the last minute, when the ground launch sequencer sends the command to the automated launch sequencer. for the rocket’s flight computer to take over about 30 seconds before launch.
In the last seconds, the hydrogen will burn, all four RS-25 engines will start, resulting in a boost firing and a T-minus-zero takeoff.
After takeoff: the details
After liftoff, the rocket boosters will separate from the spacecraft. about two minutes into the flight and will drop into the Atlantic Ocean.
Other components will also be disposed of soon after. The central part of the rocket will separate about eight minutes later and fall into the Pacific Ocean.which will allow the wings of Orion’s solar panels to unfold.
The lifting maneuver will occur approximately 12 minutes after launch, when ICPS will experience a burn to raise Orion’s altitude so it does not re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. Shortly after, the translunar injection burn occurs, when ICPS increases Orion’s speed from 28,163 kilometers per hour. (17,500 miles per hour) at 36,371 kilometers per hour (22,600 miles per hour) to escape the pull of Earth’s gravity and head for the Moon. After this burn, ICPS will separate from Orion.
At around 4:30 p.m., Orion will make its first departure trajectory correction using the European Service Module, which provides the spacecraft with power, propulsion and thermal control. This maneuver will put Orion on its way to the Moon.
Orion in the skies
The next few days after launch, Orion will venture out to the Moon, coming within 96 kilometers (60 miles) during its closest approach to the lunar surface on the sixth day of the journey, or September 3 if launch occurs as planned. planned on August 29. The service module will place Orion in a far retrograde orbit around the Moon on the 10th, or September 7.
On September 8 when I go around the Moon, Orion will surpass the distance record of 400,169 kilometers (248,654 miles), set by Apollo 13 in 1970. The spacecraft will reach its maximum distance from Earth of 450,616 kilometers (280,000 miles) on September 23 when it ventures 64,373 kilometers (40,000 miles) beyond the Moon. This is 48,280 kilometers (30,000 miles) more than the Apollo 13 record.
Orion will make its second closest approach to the lunar surface, coming within 500 miles (804 kilometers) on October 3. The service module will experience a burn that will allow the moon’s gravity to pull Orion back to Earth.
speeds and more
Just before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the service module will separate from Orion. The spacecraft will hit the top of Earth’s atmosphere moving at about 40,233 kilometers per hour (25,000 miles per hour), and its heat shield you will experience temperatures of almost 2,760 degrees Celsius (5,000 degrees Fahrenheit).
The atmosphere will slow Orion down to about 300 miles per hour (482 kilometers per hour), and a series of parachutes will slow it down to less than 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour). before it falls into the Pacific Ocean at 11:53 am
The splashdown will be broadcast live from NASA’s website, collecting views from the 17 cameras aboard the recovery ship and the helicopters that will be awaiting Orion’s return.
The landing and recovery team will collect the Orion capsule, and the data collected by the spacecraft they will determine what lessons have been learned before humans return to the Moon.
And when will humans return to the moon?
Crews will travel aboard Artemis II on a similar trajectory in 2024, and The first woman and next man to land on the moon are scheduled to arrive at the lunar south pole in late 2025 on the Artemis III mission.