NASA launched a ship containing yeast to the moon. Two years later people should fly there United States sent a super heavy SLS rocket to the Moon as part of the Artemis mission 11/16/2022, 14:39

The first to carry people in half a century

The Space Launch System (SLS) super-heavy launch vehicle carrying the unmanned Orion spacecraft took off from the Kennedy Space Center site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on November 16 at 1:47 p.m. local time (9:47 Moscow time). 8.5 minutes after launch, the rocket’s upper stage entered the first orbit together with Orion. This was reported by NASA’s press service. Within 25 days, the spacecraft should fly around the moon, and on day 42 return to Earth and land on the water surface into the ocean.

Today’s launch is a first for the Artemis program. It was established in 2017 under the administration of the previous US President Donald Trump and is located in the European Space Agency, Japan and Canada. The unmanned launch of SLS to the Moon in 2022 is the first phase of the program and is called Artemis-1.

With Orion on board, the launch of the SLS is considered by many to be nearly the first American flight to the Moon in the past half-century. Actually it is not. Half a century ago, in 1972, NASA completed its last manned mission under the Apollo program. Then, from the Apollo 17 spacecraft, astronauts Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, Ronald Evans made the sixth landing on the lunar surface. Therefore, “Artemis-1” can be safely called the first launch in 50 years of a spacecraft capable of bringing humans to the moon.

However, the Americans have been actively studying the earth’s satellite in recent years. For example, in 2013 the LADEE spacecraft was launched into lunar orbit to study the atmosphere and dust environment. Several scientific instruments and probes launched by NASA in the past years are still in orbit of the Earth’s satellite.

What is “Artemis”?

NASA’s new moon program aims to continue manned flights to Earth’s satellite. The United States has been preparing for its first phase for five years, despite the development of the Orion spacecraft in the early 2000s as part of the previous Constellation program (which future astronauts should fly to the Moon).

It was possible to launch the SLS to the Moon only from the fourth expedition. The first start was scheduled for August 29. Later this was prevented by problems in the fuel system and the temperature of one of the engines. They tried to send Artemis-1 to the Moon for the second time on September 3, but a hydrogen leak was later discovered. The third attempt on September 27 was delayed due to a tropical storm covering Florida.

“Artemis-1”, the heaviest carrier rocket in NASA’s arsenal, must start its engines two more times according to the SLS plan, scatter Orion and dock – the ship will fly to the Moon on its own. First, it must approach the satellite at a minimum distance of 100 km during the initial orbit, and then enter a 70,000 km retrograde orbit. This tour will take approximately two weeks. On its 25th day in lunar orbit, Orion will make its final third orbit in an elliptical orbit and head towards Earth.

All this time Orion will have yeast, mold, algae and plant seeds. The scientists plan to test whether flight might have an effect on their DNA. And to assess the effect of interplanetary cosmic radiation on the human body, the places of people on board were taken by anthropomorphic dummies Helga and Zohar, equipped with dosimeters.

If the first phase of the lunar program is successfully implemented, NASA will continue with Artemis-2. He suggests that in May 2024, the two astronauts will travel to Orion via the same route. The key difference to this mission will be its duration: instead of 42 days, the astronauts will stay in space for only 10 days and make a quick spin around the moon.

Phase three of the program involves sending four astronauts to lunar orbit in Orion in 2025. Two of them need to land in the satellite’s south pole region and stay on its surface for about six days. According to preliminary plans, the entire mission will take about 30 days.

The next phases of the program are directly connected to the Lunar Gateway orbital station. In 2024 and 2025, NASA plans to launch the station’s electric propulsion, housing and landing modules to the Moon. As part of Artemis-4, a logistics module will be placed on the station in 2027, and the four astronauts will spend about two weeks in orbit of the Moon. The next two phases, planned for 2028, will help equip the Lunar Gateway with the remaining modules, while also allowing for two more landings on the satellite’s surface, including an all-terrain vehicle.

Half a century after the last manned Moon mission, the American space agency NASA, along with the Orion spacecraft, sent a heavy SLS rocket to Earth’s satellite. So far – unmanned, but with yeast and mold. After 42 days the ship should return to Earth. We describe how the United States is preparing for the flight to the moon and when to send a person there again.

Source: Gazeta


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