NASA’s Artemis 1 Mission Leaders Say Go For Launch

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NASA's Artemis 1 Mission Leaders Say Go For Launch

Adding to the flurry of recent news on NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, NASA held a media event to offer an update on the latest developments for an Artemis 1 launch attempt on November 16. EGS Program deputy manager Jeremy Parson and Artemis 1 mission manager Mike Sarafin gave an update on the status of the mission. The Mobile Launcher has been moved out of the VAB and rolled over to the pad, said Parson. We are in final integration and checkout operations at this point.

Introduction

NASA offered an update on the latest developments for an Artemis 1 launch attempt on November 16.

The event was held in the agency’s Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center to provide media with a look inside the control room and to hear from NASA leaders, managers and engineers who are working on this historic event.

A major focus of the briefing was the testing of key components related to propulsion systems, in particular liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant loading.

NASA also updated reporters on progress for integrating spacecraft into its payload fairing as well as preflight checkouts of avionics and propulsion systems.

The agency will conduct a flight readiness review next week before making a final decision whether or not to proceed with the November 16 launch date.

What is the Artemis 1 mission?

The mission is designed to test a new type of propulsion system, the Advanced Solid Fuel Booster (ASFB).

The ASFB will use solid fuel which is safer than the hydrazine-based fuels currently used in NASA rockets.

This will allow for a more reliable, sustainable and cost-effective rocket propulsion system.

The ASFB engine uses high-energy, fast-burning propellant that can’t be ignited until it has been expelled from the launch vehicle.

This means there are no on-board ignition sources that can lead to explosions like those seen with hydrazine based fuels.

By using this type of rocket fuel, NASA will be able to reduce its environmental impact.

Sarafin said that when launching this new technology, he expects nothing less than a beautiful night.

The media event was held at Johnson Space Center’s Building 901 where they announced an update on the latest developments for an Artemis 1 launch attempt on November 16.

Jeremy Parson, EGS Program deputy manager and Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission manager spoke about safety precautions taken so far before going live with a countdown simulation.

Mike Sarafin said When we go out here and launch we want people to know we did everything possible to make sure everyone was safe

What are the latest developments?

The launch window for the first human lunar landing mission to take place in over 50 years has opened, and NASA announced their team is ready to go.

The next few weeks will be pivotal for the agency and its partners as they work to make history.

An Artemis 1 launch attempt on November 16 will be updated at a NASA media event this evening.

Mike Sarafin, the mission operations manager for Artemis 1, and Jeremy Parson, EGS Program deputy manager, provided reporters with a preview of what to expect.

If all goes well with November 16th’s launch window opening – NASA will set up a giant rocket called Space Launch System (SLS) in Florida and send it off into space.

SLS is the largest rocket ever built by humans and it’s capable of sending 130 tonnes of payloads into orbit around Earth.

After six days in space, SLS will reach its destination – lunar orbit at about 100 miles from Earth.

It’ll spend two days preparing for the next step: leaving Earth orbit and flying towards the moon at four times faster than any other object humanity has sent before.

Once there, it’ll deploy another spacecraft called Orion that will take 4-6 crew members to explore parts of our only natural satellite never before seen by humans.

SLS is slated to land back on Earth about a week after this trip begins! To ensure that no harm comes to life or planet Earth, ESA scientists have created an atmospheric shield for this journey which will protect them from harmful radiation during their stay in deep space.

So far, everything is looking good for these pioneers who hope to visit one of the final frontiers humankind has yet to discover.

What does this mean for the launch?

Artemis 1 will attempt to launch on November 16 after NASA held a media event this evening to update the public on the latest developments.

Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission lead engineer, and Jeremy Parson, deputy manager of EGS Program, shared some updates on its testing progress.

Specifically, they spoke about how they are continuing with their no-go tests which will simulate failures that could occur during launch.

These no-go tests are designed to identify any potential issues before a human is placed in space.

The engineers also spoke about their continued efforts to test the cryogenic propellant systems – a key component of this next step in human exploration.

Cryogenic propulsion is important because it gives us more flexibility and redundancy, said Sarafin.

If you lose power or experience another issue, we can still use our cryogens.

They also discussed the upcoming static fire tests of both boosters, set to take place later this month. Static fires allow us to certify that our engines have performed as expected, said Parsons.

He noted that these tests can last up to seven minutes long, but he anticipates them lasting about three minutes for each booster engine due to reduced complexity from not needing liquid oxygen or hydrogen fuel aboard the rocket as seen in previous iterations of this technology.

We’re really excited about getting our boosters ready so we can get ready for launch, said Parsons at the conclusion of his remarks

Conclusion

Jeremy Parson, EGS Program deputy manager, and Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission lead at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, were joined by representatives from the International Space Station (ISS), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC), and United Launch Alliance (ULA).

The team shared some exciting news: they are ‘go’ for launch! A summary of each speaker follows.

Continuation : Jeremy Parsons gave a brief overview of the path ahead following liftoff; he was followed by Mike Sarafin who walked attendees through detailed information about operations aboard the ISS, which will be supporting astronauts during their exploration of deep space.

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