June 28, 2022

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NASA’s future lunar rocket launches its baptism … from the air – 03/18/2022 20:52 pm

SLS Rocket (AFP / Gregg Newton) on Launch 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2022

SLS Rocket (AFP / Gregg Newton) on Launch 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2022

NASA’s new giant rocket arrived at its launch site for the first time on Friday, where it will undergo a battery test, which, if successful, could lead to a flight to the moon this summer.

After a ten-hour journey from the assembly building of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the SLS rocket landed at 39B, the famous firing range 39B, just six kilometers away, at 04:15 local time on Friday.

– Astronomical Expenses –

Because the Orion capsule is attached to its tip, the SLS rocket is 98 meters high, slightly taller than the Statue of Liberty, but 110 meters shorter than the Saturn V rocket that sent man to the moon during the Apollo mission.

However, the SLS will generate 39.1 megahnion propulsion, which is 15% higher than Saturn V, making it the most powerful rocket in the world today.

“This is the symbol of our country,” Tom Whitmeyer, a senior NASA official, told reporters this week.

However, a symbol of $ 4.1 billion per launch for the first four Artemis missions to the moon was underlined before the US Space Agency’s Inspector General Paul Martin before Congress this month.

Engineers have two weeks to conduct battery tests before the pre-release costume rehearsal.

SLS rocket and Orion capsule (NASA / Aubrey Gemignani) on March 17, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

SLS rocket and Orion capsule (NASA / Aubrey Gemignani) on March 17, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

On April 3, the SLS team will load more than three million liters of cryogenic fuel into the rocket, repeating each phase of the countdown for the last 10 seconds without firing the engines.

The rocket will then discharge fuel to prove a safe stop Eve.

– To the moon and beyond –

In May, NASA launched the first missile for the first unmanned lunar mission, the Artemis 1, to connect the SLS rocket to the Orion capsule.

SLS will first place Orion in low Earth orbit, thanks to its superior position, making “trans-lunar injection”.

This maneuver is necessary to send Orion 450,000 km from Earth and 64,000 km beyond the Moon.

NASA's new SLS rocket on March 17, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (AFP / Gregg Newton)

NASA’s new SLS rocket on March 17, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (AFP / Gregg Newton)

During its three-week voyage, Orion will launch ten satellites called CubeSats, the size of a showbox, which will gather information about deep space.

The capsule will use its thrusters provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) to orbit the Moon and then return to Earth.

Its landing will take place in the Pacific region off the coast of California.

We look forward to seeing the manned test aircraft for the Artemis 2 scheduled for 2024. The capsule will then orbit the moon, without landing there, Artemis 3, now scheduled for 2025, to see the first woman and the first person of color to set foot on the lunar surface at the satellite’s south pole.

NASA wants to test on the moon some of the technologies it intends to use during future missions to Mars in the 2030s.

– Starship vs SLS –

Running SLS should allow it to join the category of “super heavy” launchers, currently only developed by Space X’s Falcon Heavy, which is smaller than SLS.

NASA's new SLS rocket on March 17, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (AFP / Gregg Newton)

NASA’s new SLS rocket on March 17, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (AFP / Gregg Newton)

However, Elon Musk’s company is developing another rocket into deep space: Starship, which is fully reusable and the millionaire announced this year that it is ready for orbit testing.

The Starship will be larger and more powerful than the SLS: 120 meters high, which can generate more than 75 mechnotons of propulsion. It will also be much cheaper.

According to Elon Musk, a launch cost could be reduced to $ 10 million in a few years.

But the direct comparisons between the two rockets are complex, with the SLS designed to reach its final destination directly, while SpaceX plans to put one starship rocket into orbit and then deliver it back with another starship rocket. .

NASA has contracted with SpaceX for a version of the starship that will be used as a lunar descent vehicle for the Artemis.

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