NASA has given an update on its Artemis 1 rocket, which will be used to go to the moon. The hour-long update can be streamed online.
This informative update has a few key people participating in it. The call included:
- Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA headquarters in Washington
- Mike Bolger, Exploration Ground Systems program manager at KSC
- Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission manager at NASA headquarters
The Artemis 1 rocket update gives us updates on the mission progress. On top of that, NASA goes into detail about what their timeline is for these moon missions. Any major updates that come after this will also be livestreamed. You can watch the update below.
Artemis 1 Rocket Will Send People To the Moon
Artemis 1 will be the first-ever launch of the space agency’s new mega-rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS). The mission will send an uncrewed Orion space capsule around the moon. This is just one of the many missions that NASA will undergo as they prepare to send humans to the moon. Basically, this first launch is to make sure that SLS and Orion are ready to carry astronauts to the moon.
Currently, the Artemis 1 rocket is expected to launch no earlier than May. However, there’s still a lot to be done before then. Before the SLS ever launches into space, it has to pass some tests first. Thus, the moon rocket will roll out onto the launch pad sometime in March. Space reports that it’ll be going through a prelaunch test, which is called a wet dress rehearsal.
NASA Prepares To Test the SLS
Previous tests have detected issues with parts of the SLS. These have since been fixed. However, fixing them has delayed NASA’s timeline. Now, the Artemis 1 rocket is finally ready to undergo one of its final tests.
This wet dress rehearsal will run the entire launch sequence, right up until the countdown. It’s done to make sure that everything is working right. For example, the prelaunch tests will include looking at the flight termination system and installing instrumentation on the twin solid rocket boosters. The Orion space capsule and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center will be tested, too.
The Artemis 1 rocket won’t be able to really launch until this test is done.
“This final test, known as the wet dress rehearsal, will run the launch team through operations to load propellant into the rocket’s tanks and conduct a full launch countdown,” NASA officials wrote in an update this week. “Following a successful rehearsal, NASA will roll the rocket stack back into the Vehicle Assembly Building for final checks and set an official target date for launch.”
“Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone on the way to Mars,” they added.