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NASA’s new moon rocket is scheduled to start on August 29th – US News News – Report by AFR

Mark your calendars: NASA’s Artemis program to return to the Moon could launch its first unmanned test flight as early as August 29, the agency said Wednesday.

Artemis-1 is the first in a series of missions that will see the United States attempt to return humans to the moon, establish a sustained presence there, and use the lessons learned to plan a trip to Mars sometime in the 2030s.

NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Free told reporters the first window of possible launch dates for the massive Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion crew capsule are August 29, September 2 and September 5.

The decision follows final on-site checks at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, known as “wet dress rehearsals.”

The last of those tests, conducted in June, met 90 percent of the team’s targets, and on Wednesday senior vehicle operations manager Cliff Lanham said engineers have now replaced faulty seals that caused a hydrogen leak on the SLS during the last test had.

Artemis-1 is scheduled to travel around the far side of the moon in a four to six week mission – longer than any astronaut ship without docking before returning home faster and hotter than any ship before it.

It will also use a series of small satellites called CubeSats to conduct experiments in space.

Mike Sarafin, leader of the Artemis mission, told reporters, “Our first and foremost goal is to demonstrate Orion’s heat shield under lunar re-entry conditions.”

When the capsule returns from the Moon, it will travel about 24,500 miles per hour (39,400 kilometers per hour) and experience temperatures half as hot as the Sun outside its heat shield.

The second objective is to demonstrate the airworthiness of the missile and crew capsule in all of their maneuvers throughout the mission.

Eventually, NASA will attempt to successfully recover and thoroughly inspect Orion after the splashdown.

Artemis-2 will be the first manned test to fly around the moon but not land, while Artemis-3 will see the first woman and first colored person land on the moon’s south pole.

#NASAs #moon #rocket #scheduled #start #August #29th

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