Pre-launch preparations for NASA’s Artemis 1 mission are well underway. So good, in fact, that the company has pulled the launch date of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket ahead of schedule. In a blog update, NASA announced that the Orion spacecraft will roll out to its launch pad two days early.
Artemis 1 is NASA’s first lunar mission since LADEE in 2013-2014 and the agency’s first move to return boots to the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. It has two main goals: to build an Artemis base camp on the surface Moon, and a gateway to lunar orbit. Gateway is a space station in lunar orbit, where astronauts will transfer between Orion and the lunar lander on the Artemis mission. In the meantime, the agency will build an outpost on the moon’s surface, to provide space for astronauts to live and work. Artemis Base Camp will include “a modern lunar cabin, a rover and a mobile home.”
In a statement, NASA said it is aiming to lift the SLS and Orion spacecraft to the spaceport’s launch pad 39B on Thursday, August 18. They will also be live-streaming the entire event, starting at 6 PM EDT on Wednesday, August 17, on the NASA Kennedy YouTube channel.
NASA is targeting August 29 for the Artemis 1 launch However, they got backup dates of 2 and 5 September. If all goes well, the Orion capsule will spend about a few weeks in orbit around the moon before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
Girls can go to space too
Artemis Mission stands out for its determination to include women in the mission at every stage. Its mission for inclusion is worth talking about all by itself, but right now I want to talk about the female mannequin of the Orion capsule.
Historically, crash tests have used mannequins shaped and sized like adult men. But women are statistically shorter and shorter than men, and that affects how safety restrictions fit. As a result, although cars are safer than ever, studies show that female bodies are almost twice as likely to be injured in accidents. So it’s really important that NASA is specifically testing their safety gear and PPE (personal protective equipment) across a wide range of body sizes.
For the Artemis 1 mission, NASA is sending two female-bodied mannequins to test safety equipment sized for women. Both mannequins will wear radiation detectors. One of the mannequins is also wearing a special protective vest called an AstroRad.
In a blog post, NASA explained that “despite their names Helga and Zohar and sharing the trip, their missions will be different – Zohar will wear an AstroRad vest, while Helga will not. The female forms were chosen because women are generally more sensitive to the effects of space radiation. “
Ahead of schedule — for now
Artemis 1 is the first in an ambitious series of lunar missions. A second flight, Artemis II, will carry astronauts instead of astronauts when it launches into lunar orbit in May 2024. And while Artemis II will remain in orbit around the moon, Artemis III will land on the moon’s surface sometime in 2025.
Although the Space Launch System is two days ahead of its current schedule, it has been repeatedly delayed since its launch in 2012. Effective nationwide employment program. But NASA continues to press on with its lunar missions, just as it continues to build toward a strong commercial presence in low-Earth orbit.
NASA has been cultivating and funding private and academic space endeavors for more than a decade now. They started their commercial crew and commercial cargo missions because the International Space Station won’t live forever. Long before Russia began to mourn the global space sector, it was clear that the ISS would need a successor. But as humanity reaches for the stars, we too will need a pit stop on the moon. Artemis Flight is the first part of that process.