NASA’s Artemis I in "generale repetitie" (2)
September 20, 2022 - Artemis I is an unmanned flight designed to test the viability of the new SLS launcher and Orion capsule for crewed flights. It is the first step in NASA’s much-heralded return to the moon.
Technical setbacks over the weekend and on Monday, including multiple lightning strikes, pressurisation problems and a stuck valve have caused NASA to scrub Artemis I’s three-day “wet dress rehearsal” – fuelling of the rocket and a simulated full countdown.
The uncrewed Artemis I mission is due to take-off in June on a flight that will last 26-42 days:
1) Space Launch System (SLS) super heavy-lift launch vehicle blasts off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, carrying an empty Orion crew module.
2) Solid rocket boosters and core stage separation – ship enters Earth orbit.
3) Ship journeys to Moon (8-14 days), deploying 10 CubeSats along the way.
4) Enter into orbit around Moon (6-19 days).
5) Return flight to Earth (9-19 days).
6) Crew module separation and splashdown in Pacific Ocean.
If successful, Artemis II is scheduled to blast-off in May 2024, with a crew of four astronauts, on a lunar-flyby-return-to-Earth test mission.
Assuming success of Artemis II, Artemis III is set to land two humans on the Moon in 2025, and keep them there for a week – making it the the first human moon landing since Apollo 17 in 1972 (53 years ago).