Updated: The launch did not take place today due to a problem with one of the engines identified during the pre-launch preparation phase. A new start attempt, if the problem is fixed, will be made next Friday.
original material: The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is ready to conduct the first orbital flight of the giant Space Launch System spacecraft and the Orion spacecraft as part of the Artemis 1 lunar mission. 15:33 Moscow time.
The launch vehicle lifts off from pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Everyone will be able to follow the preparation of the rocket for flight and directly its launch. The online broadcast will be conducted on the official website of NASA and on the YouTube channel of the Department of Aeronautics. It will be possible to see the process of refueling the launcher tanks from 07:00 Moscow time.
Although the Artemis 1 mission is unmanned, it is critical to the entire US lunar program. A few minutes after launch, the SLS rocket will deliver the Orion spacecraft into outer space, after which it will separate from the carrier and go on a 42-day journey. During this time, the ship must automatically fly around the moon and return to Earth. It should be noted that in addition to the Orion spacecraft, the SLS rocket will deliver 10 miniature satellites into space, designed to carry out various studies.
If the mission is successful and the SLS system proves its viability in practice, a crew of astronauts will go on the next flight as part of the Artemis 2 mission on Orion. The Artemis 2 mission, where the Orion ship with the crew will fly around our planet’s satellite and return to Earth, is scheduled for 2024. In 2025, NASA plans to launch the Artemis 3 manned mission, which will land astronauts on the Moon. For this, it is planned to use the SpaceX Starship HLS descent module. Already, the aviation department has selected 13 sites in the region around the moon’s south pole, where a landing can be carried out.
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