In line with Space Policy Policy 1 – released on December 11, 2017 – NASA is developing all the necessary hardware to return astronauts to the moon. On March 26, 2019, NASA was officially directed to expedite the process and land the first astronauts of the post-Apollo era to create a monthly South Pole through 2024. This mission is called Artemis Project, which is the twin sister of Apollo in & # 39; e Greek mythology.
In the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence visited the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building in NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to commemorate the 50th anniversary of & # 39; a Apollo 11 Moon Landing. The occasion also saw the discovery of the Orion's crew's hairstyle that will be used for the first Artemis lunar mission. The event therefore served both a retrospective and a view of & # 39; s future a moon reconciliation.
The ceremony was also attended by NASA manager Jim Bridenstine, Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, and Rick Armstrong – the son of Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong. The event began with VP Pence, Aldrin, and Armstrong visiting the Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39A, where the mission of Apollo 11 expires 50 years ago.
The NASA engineers were fit to build & # 39; An Orion crew module completed the first return mission to the Moon at just one time for the remembrance event. This consisted of an underlying structure known as the press machine, which was produced at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and sent to Kennedy.
Once, they were once integrated teams of thousands of parts and systems in one module and passed tests to verify that all of its systems are ready for space flight. The European Service Module (ESM), which will provide the power and drive for the Orion, was contributed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and was also ready for the anniversary.
The ESM was produced by Airbus in Bremen, Germany, and was sent to Kennedy in November 2018 for final assembly and integration. Kennedy engineers have already started work on & # 39; The two modules, while other teams are engaged in connecting power and fluid lines to complete the hardware attachment. Like Pence President Pence said during the discovery:
"Thanks to the hard work of NASA's men and women, and of the United States industry, the Orion crewmember for Artemis 1 mission is fully prepared to prepare for its preparations historical first flight. "
The Apollo program was initiated in 1961 and culminated in 1972 with six crew missions to the Moon. It demonstrated the ability to put people in another celestial body and return it safely to Earth. And now, fifty years later, the goal is to return in a sustainable way to the month and build the infrastructure that will enable the next huge jump – to send the first astronauts to Mars.
Currently, the plan calls for the completed Space Launch System (SLS) to launch the Orion hairstyle on an unmanned test flight that will take about one month. This mission, formerly known as Exploration Mission-1 or EM-1 (now Artemis 1) is expected to happen in the year 2021 and will test the hairstyle and systems.
It will also work the way Artemis 2, where a manned Orion will lead another flight of one month (this landing will take place in 2022). By 2024 Artemis 3 will bring a crew of four astronauts to the Antarctic Aitken Basin on the moon surface. Like manager, Bridenstine said during the event:
“Like the 1960s, we also have the opportunity to make a huge leap forward for the whole of humanity. President Trump and vice president Pence have given us a bold direction to return to the Moon by 2024 and then advance to Mars. Her direction is not empty rhetoric. They have their vision supported by the budget requests that should reach this goal. NASA calls this the Artemis program to honor the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology, the goddess of & # 39; month. And we are well on our way to getting this ready. ”
Once the two Orion modules are connected, the next step will be to integrate the panel into the heatshield backshell and prepare for a September test flight. This will include placing the & # 39; module on & # 39; a Super Guppy aircraft from an agency at the Plum Brook Station of NASA, Ohio, which will fly the fully assembled Orion to the space to ensure the temperatures and proximity of & # 39; space can resist.
Once tests have been completed, the Orion spacecraft will return to the Kennedy Space Center for final processing and inspection. It will then be refueled and sent to Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building for its definitive integration with the SLS rocket. After that, the only thing left will be to launch the spaceship on their journey to chimney room.
While they are
For starters, some experts have indicated that a deadline of 2024 for the first crew girl to the surface is unrealistic. The recent White House House's extra $ 1.6 billion in an amendment to its 2020 budget call for Congress was described as Administrator Bridenstine as "a downpayment on NASA's efforts to get people to & # 39; land for a month until 2024. "
In short, this funding is only part of what the agency seeks to make Artemis, and Congress still needs to approve it.
Secondly, according to a senior NASA space-flooded pushback from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding the ongoing financing of the Lunar Gateway. While the OMB seems to think that the Gateway is not needed and that the project's exit would streamline the project, it is essentially for NASA's plan to create a sustainable human presence at the end of the month.
Although no one can refuse the monumental performance, which the Apollo program represents, NASA hopes more than this "boots and flags" missions. The key to this is to build a surrounding habitat that can create spacecraft and a reusable moon lander to transport astronauts to and from the surface.
Third, the Trump administration frustrations have spoken about the pace at which the SLS is being compiled. Beginning in June, NASA reported that four-fifths of the massive core steps of & # 39; a rocket had completed the construction and that they were two-thirds of the way to merging & # 39; a more fluid hydrogen fuel tank to the upper part of the core step.
Last but not least, it was NASA's recent news about the two long-term demo. These were none other than William Gerstenmaier and William Hill, the Associate Administrator and a place-replacing associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations. The devastation of Gerstenmaier was especially surprising, since he spent the past 14 years as head of HEO and since 1977 has served NASA.
Both men were re-assigned to special assistant positions under the seat of administrator Bridenstine (Jim Morhard) and NASA associate administrator Steve Jurczyk. This arguable punitive movement proved to be an attempt by the agency to move faster and was also in line with Pence's comments in March over the five-year deadline.
"[I]To achieve this, NASA must transform itself into a more rewarding, more responsible and agile organization, ”he said. "As NASA is currently unable to land US astronauts in a month's time, we must change the organization, not the mission."
Nevertheless, NASA is making important steps with its plan to return to the month and stay there. And although it may be some delays in sending human crews to the surface by 2024, NASA is still on course to make a presence at the end of the following decade at & nbsp; one month.
Whether it is more funding, more time, or an administration that is more flexible in its deadlines, we can rest assured that NASA will soon return enough to the month. Once there, they can start planning the next great leap, landing the first astronauts on Mars!
Further reading: NASA