NASA’s Artemis I mission is about to blast off a giant SLS rocket to the moon

Well, space lovers. It’s almost time. NASA is on the verge of launching and piloting a next-generation rocket from the moon for the first time. It’s going to be a tough time, but honestly, there’s a lot going on here on Earth, too—and if you’re like me, you might be looking for a quick refresher on what exactly happens when the next big thing explodes.

Consider your SLS cheat sheet as NASA prepares for its big launch on August 29.

What is SLS?

It stands for Space Launch System.

It sounds like a very boring name.

that it. But it is also very functional because you see it as a reference to a system for sending things into space.

What kinds of things can SLS photograph?

many things! This version of the SLS has and can carry four large rocket engines and two solid-state boosters. About 27 tons Even close to the moon. This more than a space shuttle It can be carried to LEO, but less than it can carry an Apollo-era Saturn V rocket to the moon. Future versions of the SLS will be able to tow more.

SLS and Orion trade on the launchpad
Photo: NASA/Kim Shefflet

Wow, how are you going to do that?

It will light £5.75m of fireworks. These boosters – the two white cylinders on either side of the rocket – are 17 stories tall and are filled with a solid rocket fuel called polybutadiene acrylonitrile. They burn through six tons of this fuel every second, according to NASA. If you’re wondering what kind of jumbo jet this is, NASA has it for you. Each “generates more thrust than 14 four-engine jumbo commercial aircraft.” The two boosters will generate 75 percent of the boom that lifts the rocket and its payload off the ground.

But that’s only part of the rocket’s power. There is also a length of 212 feet base stage The big orange part of the rocket. On launch day, it will be filled with 537,000 liters of liquid hydrogen and 196,000 liters of liquid oxygen, which will power the four engines below.

All this fuel and technology translates into a boatload of energy. Within 8.5 minutes of launch, the SLS capsule and the Orion capsule will travel at speeds of approximately 17,000 miles per hour.

What is Orion Capsule?

I know, Or else Noun. Therefore, SLS will carry a spacecraft called Orion. (In the pictures it is a file. The white part is on top of the rocket.) is in no way connected with ORION GAMING-TOOL.

Photo by Lauren Grosch/The Verge

Orion is designed for missions beyond Earth orbit, with possible destinations to the Moon or Mars. I have a very shiny appearance. It will help it deal with extreme temperatures in space, a next-generation heat shield to deal with atmospheric re-entry and launch abort system. Astronauts can be brought to safety if something goes wrong during launch. In space, it can support four people on a mission for 21 days.

Orion previously flew into space in a test flight in 2014. It has since undergone many tests in preparation for this upcoming journey, which is much delayed, a lot time. (More on those delays later.) In 2020, it looked like there might be a chance it could be delayed again if some engineers do. Find a problem with the spacecraft power component. It would have taken months to repair it and they have backup systems available so they will fly the spacecraft as is.

Will there be humans in Orion?

none. There will be three mannequins tied inside that look terrifying to varying degrees. one whose name is Commander Monnequin Campos. He will wear one of the flight suits that astronauts will wear on future missions. It will be joined by Helga and Zohar’s limbs, which will carry radiation detectors to see how much radiation astronauts might be exposed to during a trip to the moon. Zohar will wear a coat that protects against radiation. Helga No. Good luck, Helga.

Two blue limbless mannequins strapped to benches in an Orion capsule

Helga and Zohar were bound to their places in Orion. Commander Monnequin Campo’s feet can be seen in the upper left.
Photo: NASA/Frank Michaux

One of the main reasons there are no astronauts on board is that this entire launch is a giant test flight. This is the first time the SLS has appeared in space, and putting people on a rocket before they know if it can actually work feels like a pretty bad option. (NASA) I thought very briefly about doing just that, then decided against him.) Instead, I’m going around Artemis I to test how well Orion and SLS work and push them to their limits before people go around table to go.

What is Artemis I?

Oh boy, another name! Artemis I is the mission for SLS and Orion. Its primary purpose is to ensure that Orion can operate in space and that it can safely return astronauts to Earth after the mission is over. As a reward, I will fly further from Earth than any spacecraft designed for humans. It has flown before and reaches a distance of 280,000 miles from Earth.

During its 42-day mission, it will travel a total distance of about 1.3 million miles, en route to the moon, then orbit the moon for several days before returning to Earth. The maps for this mission look too big and cluttered. 8. If the August 29 launch goes according to plan, it should blast back to Earth on October 10.

Diagram showing the flight path of the Artemis I mission orbiting the Earth and the Moon.

Itinerary for Artemis I’s voyage.
image: NASA

Are there other Artemis missions?

Yes! If all goes well with Artemis I, NASA will move on to Artemis II, the SLS/Orion group’s first crewed flight. It’s also the first manned mission to return to the moon since the Apollo era, but the astronauts on board won’t land on the moon — they’ll orbit for a while and then return to Earth.

The ultimate goal is for NASA to land the first woman on the moon during the Artemis III mission, which is still ongoing. In August, NASA announced several potential landing sites near the moon’s south pole.

Yes, the bell rings. How long has this been in the making?

The Artemis program? Since 2019, when then-Vice President Mike Pence announced that NASA is returning to the moon and will be there in 2024.

Fun fact! It got its name because in mythology Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, and there is a lot of nostalgia for the Apollo missions, for better or for worse.

Will they return it to the moon in 2024?

of course not. they’re photographing the year 2025 Right now, but that’s still pretty ambitious.

What about the SLS project? I feel like I’ve been hearing about it for a long time.

You certainly have. Its origins date back to around 2010, when the US was moving away from the Space Shuttle and moving towards other forms of space transportation. Parts of it started as a project called Constellation that was canceled because it was too expensive. It was then revived as the SLS in 2010, with a goal of launching in 2017. This back to 2018 And it kept slipping as the project got I’m late and on budget.

For a complete overview of the story, check out our story here.

But… are they ready to go now?

It looks like it! Although the dress rehearsal was interrupted in June because of the hydrogen leak, engineers believe they have solved all of the rocket’s last-minute missions, and NASA decided they would fire.

What will be on board?

In addition to Helga, Zohar and Commander Moonikin Campos, there will be a few other science experiments aboard Artemis I. During the mission, the spacecraft will deploy 10 small satellites called CubeSats. Some map the ice on the moon, you spread a giant solar sail and set course for an asteroid, you want to try to land on the moon. On board there will also be a science experiment carrying yeast where yeast has never been until I try to study deep space radiation.

A plush cartoon sheep holds a hoof against a small model of an Orion capsule.

Shaun the Lamb stands with a model of the mighty capsule
Photo: ESA/Aardman

Also in the capsule is the velor Shawn’s name is Shawn. Also Snoopy. Shaun and Snoopy will act as Zero Gravity Indicators, floating around the sphere when it reaches microgravity.

When will SLS be launched?

29 August at 8:33 ET. See you there!

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