NASA's Moon Mission: Explosion, Crew, Flight Trajectory for Homecoming

NASA’s Moon Mission: Explosion, Crew, Flight Trajectory for Homecoming

NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, scheduled to lift off Wednesday, is a 25-and-a-half-day journey beyond the far side of the Moon and back.

NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, scheduled to lift off Wednesday, is a 25-and-a-half-day journey beyond the far side of the Moon and back.

The meticulously designed unmanned flight should produce stunning images as well as valuable scientific data.

– End of explosion –

The giant Space Launch System rocket will make its first flight from Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Its four RS-25 engines, with two white boosters on either side, would produce 8.8 million pounds (39 meganewtons) of thrust—15 percent more than the Apollo program’s Saturn V rocket.

Two minutes later, the thrusters will return to the Atlantic Ocean.

After eight minutes, the core stage, which is colored orange, will in turn collapse, leaving the Orion crew capsule attached to the temporary cryogenic propulsion stage.

This stage will orbit the Earth once, put Orion on course for the Moon, and descend away about 90 minutes after liftoff.

– track –

All that remains is Orion, which will carry astronauts in the future and is operated by a service unit created by the European Space Agency.

It would take several days to reach the Moon, by flying within 60 miles (100 kilometers) of it at its closest point.

“It’s going to be amazing. We’re going to hold our breath,” said Rick Labroad, mission flight director.

The capsule will power its engines to reach a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) 40,000 miles from the Moon, a distance record for a human-carrying spacecraft.

“Far” refers to the high altitude, while “retro” refers to the fact that Orion will orbit the Moon in the opposite direction to the Moon’s orbit around Earth.

DRO is a stable orbit because the objects are balanced between the gravitational pull of two large masses.

After passing by the Moon to take advantage of gravity assist, Orion will begin its return journey.

– Return journey –

The primary objective of the mission is to test the capsule’s heat shield, the largest shield ever built, measuring 16 feet (five meters) in diameter.

On its return through Earth’s atmosphere, it will have to endure a speed of 25,000 miles per hour and a temperature of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius).

Slowed by a series of parachutes until it’s traveling at less than 20 mph, Orion will crash-land off the coast of San Diego in the Pacific Ocean.

Divers will connect cables to tow it in a few hours to a US Navy ship.

– the crew –

The capsule will carry a statuette named Monequin Campos, named after the legendary NASA engineer who saved Apollo 13, in the commander’s seat, dressed in the agency’s all-new uniform.

Campos will be equipped with sensors to record acceleration and vibrations, and will also be accompanied by two other dolls: Helga and Zohar, which are made of materials designed to mimic bones and organs.

One would wear a radiation vest while the other would not, to test the effects of radiation in deep space.

– What will we see? –

Several cameras on board will make it possible to follow the entire flight from multiple angles, including from the viewpoint of the passenger in the capsule.

Cameras at the end of the solar panels will take selfies of the rover with the Moon and Earth in the background.

– CubeSats –

Life will imitate art with a technology demo called Callisto, inspired by the Starship Enterprise’s modern computer.

It’s an improved version of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which will be dialed from the control center to adjust the light in the capsule, or to read flight data.

The idea is to make life easier for future astronauts.

In addition, a payload of 10 CubeSats, small satellites the size of a shoebox, will be deployed on the rocket’s upper stage.

They have many goals: to study an asteroid, to study the effect of radiation on living organisms, and to search for water on the moon.

These projects, which are being carried out independently by international companies or researchers, take advantage of the rare opportunity to launch into deep space.

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