Subscribe to CNN’s Wonder Theory newsletter. Explore the universe with news of amazing discoveries, scientific advances and more.
Prepare for a possible launch to the moon at the end of summer.
The massive Artemis I rocket may launch on its journey to the moon on August 29, September 2, or September 5, Jim Frey, associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said during a press conference Wednesday.
I will launch the unmanned Artemis I on a mission beyond the Moon and back to Earth. This mission will launch NASA’s Artemis program, which It aims to return humans to the moon and land the first woman and first people of color on the moon by 2025.
The launch window will open at 8:33 a.m. ET on August 29 and will remain open for two hours. If Artemis I launches after that, the mission will last for 42 days and will return to Earth on October 10.
The launch window opens on September 2 at 12:48 PM ET and runs for 2 hours and It will result in an October 11 return, and a September 5 window that opens at 5:12 PM ET and lasts for 90 minutes, resulting in in Back on October 17th.
The Artemis team reached these dates after successfully completing a crucial final test called the Space Launch System rocket training experiment and the Orion spacecraft on June 20. The test simulated each stage of the launch without the rocket leaving the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Misssion team returned the rocket to the Vehicle Assembly Building on July 2 to assess problems that arose during the test, including a hydrogen leak.
During repairs to the leak, engineers found a loose composition in the inner wall of the rocket’s primary engine section. Work on tightening the ring, a fist-sized ring, is now complete, said Cliff Lanham, senior director of vehicle operations for NASA’s Earth Exploration Systems Program.
The testing and activation of the additional systems continues while the missile is in the building before returning to the launch pad.
Frey said launch dates could move and it was “not a commitment from the agency.” “We will comply with the agency After a flight readiness review a little over a week before launch.” Weather and other factors can influence when the missile is launched.
“We’ll be careful,” Frey said.
The Artemis I mission is a test flight with a number of goals, including experimenting with how Orion’s heat shield will withstand the high speed and heat the spacecraft will encounter as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere after returning from the Moon.
It will travel at around 24,500 miles per hour (39,429 kilometers per hour) and experience temperatures half the temperature of the sun. outside the heat shield, according to Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager. This is much hotter and faster than when the spacecraft returns from low Earth orbit.
Other goals include demonstrating the operations and flight patterns of the rocket and spacecraft before manned missions, recovering Orion after it plunged into the ocean, and completing the mission as planned, Sarafin said.
He said the team is ready to adapt along the way to any challenges and some goals may change as a result.
The Artemis team shared the update on the 53rd anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.
“Today’s memory is a good reminder of what a privilege it is to be part of a mission like this,” Sarafin said. “It’s not just the Artemis I mission, but it’s a bigger picture of getting back to the moon and getting ready to go to Mars.”
“Hipster-friendly troublemaker. Communicator. Organizer. Devoted web lover. Unapologetic problem solver. Reader. Explorer. Travel guru.”