Wednesday, February 8

Tag: Artemis Program

Orion moonship operating in near-flawless fashion, mission managers say
Science

Orion moonship operating in near-flawless fashion, mission managers say

NASA's unpiloted Orion moonship, sailing smoothly toward a remote lunar orbit after a spectacular low-altitude flyby Monday, is operating in near-flawless fashion, mission managers reported Monday, out-performing expectations on a flight to pave the way toward the first piloted mission in 2024.An analysis of the huge Space Launch System rocket that boosted the Orion capsule on its way early Wednesday showed it performed almost exactly as expected, taking off atop 8.8 million pounds of thrust and producing a ground-shaking shock wave that literally blew the doors off launch pad elevators.The core stage's four upgraded space shuttle main engines and twin solid-fuel boosters propelled the 322-foot-tall rocket out of the atmosphere and into space almost exactly as planned. At main engi...
NASA’s Orion capsule races past the moon in a course-changing flyby
Science

NASA’s Orion capsule races past the moon in a course-changing flyby

Out of contact on the far side of the moon, NASA's unpiloted Orion crew capsule carried out a critical rocket firing and lunar flyby Monday, flinging the craft toward a distant orbit for tests intended to pave the way to a piloted flight in 2024.NASA managers met Saturday, four days after Orion's sky-lighting launch, and gave flight controllers a "go" to proceed with Orion's "outbound powered flyby" maneuver, a two-and-a-half-minute firing of the spacecraft's main engine starting at 7:44 a.m. EST Monday.Dramatic live video from cameras mounted on the spacecraft showed Earth slowly approaching the limb of the moon and then disappearing as Orion passed out of contact behind the moon at 7:25 a.m. Nineteen minutes later, still out of contact, Orion executed the engine firing on its own...
NASA’s Orion capsule closes in on the moon for a course-changing flyby
Science

NASA’s Orion capsule closes in on the moon for a course-changing flyby

Nearly five days after its sky-lighting launch, NASA's unpiloted Orion crew capsule closed in on the moon Sunday, on course for a critical rocket firing and lunar flyby Monday to whip the craft into a distant orbit. The goal is to pave the way toward a piloted flight around the moon in 2024.NASA managers met Saturday and gave flight controllers a "go" to proceed with Orion's "outbound powered flyby" maneuver, a two-and-a-half-minute firing of the spacecraft's main engine starting at 7:44 a.m. EST Monday, about 19 minutes after the capsule passes behind the moon on a left-to-right trajectory as viewed from Earth.The burn will change Orion's velocity by about 350 mph, committing the craft to a course-changing flyby. And it will be executed during the 34 minutes Orion is out of contac...
NASA’s Artemis moon rocket makes it through critical fueling test despite hydrogen leak
Science

NASA’s Artemis moon rocket makes it through critical fueling test despite hydrogen leak

NASA's leak-plagued Space Launch System moon rocket ran into initially worrisome problems during a fueling test Wednesday, but engineers "managed" a fresh leak in a fitting that derailed a Sept. 3 launch try and were able to fill the huge booster with a full load of 750,000 gallons of supercold propellants.They also carried out two other critical tests, verifying their ability to properly chill the rocket's four hydrogen-fueled engines as required for flight and successfully pressurizing the core stage hydrogen tank to flight levels.Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson would not speculate on whether NASA might press ahead toward a September 27 launch date as earlier discussed, saying she wanted her team to review data from the test before drawing any conclusions. But she said...
How to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 launch to the moon
Science

How to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 launch to the moon

NASA says it will try again on Saturday to launch its Artemis 1 test flight — a critical mission to send an unpiloted Orion crew capsule on a 42-day mission beyond the moon and back.Launch was initially scheduled for Monday morning, but after months of tests, troubleshooting and repairs, NASA ran into problems during fueling of the Space Launch System moon rocket, forcing the agency to scrub the planned launch just as the two-hour window was opening.  We're now targeting Saturday, Sept. 3 for the launch of the #Artemis I flight test around the Moon. The two-hour launch window opens at 2:17 p.m. ET (18:17 UTC). pic.twitter.com/MxwdcKHGdd— NASA (@NASA) August 30, 2022 NASA engineers were working to resolve the issues that arose Monday, including a hydrogen leak discovered as the fuel...
How to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 launch to the moon
Science

How to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 launch to the moon

After months of tests, troubleshooting and repairs, engineers began fueling the Artemis 1 Space Launch System moon rocket for blastoff Monday on a long-overdue test flight to send an uncrewed Orion capsule on a 42-day voyage around the moon.Rain showers with lightning moved within five nautical miles of launch pad 39B just after midnight, forcing Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson to delay the start of propellant loading by 55 minutes. But the six-hour procedure finally got underway at 1:13 a.m. EDT.Then, a hydrogen leak was discovered as the fueling was taking place.Another issue as the countdown ticked into its final hours was troubleshooting to find the cause of a momentary communications glitch in one of the channels relaying commands and telemetry to and from the Orion spacecr...
NASA begins final preparations for maiden flight of $4.1 billion SLS rocket
Science

NASA begins final preparations for maiden flight of $4.1 billion SLS rocket

With one week to go until launch, NASA managers met at the Kennedy Space Center, reviewed flight preparations and cleared the agency's huge $4.1 billion Space Launch System rocket for blastoff next Monday on a test flight heralding an American-led return to the moon.After an all-day meeting to go over technical details, open issues, the weather and a variety of other factors, the launch team was cleared to press ahead toward the start of a 46-hour 10-minute countdown beginning at 10:23 a.m. ET Saturday, setting the stage for blastoff at 8:33 a.m. Monday at the opening of a two-hour window.If all goes well, the 322-foot-tall SLS rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA, will boost an unpiloted Lockheed Martin-built Orion crew capsule and its European Space Agency-supplied servic...