Everyone are clearly excited about the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 Moon Landing. But NASA made it even more exciting. Apart from the remembrance all of us were going forward with; NASA’s vice president announced about their Orion crew capsule which would make the moon landing possible once again.
NASA Spacecraft for Artemis 1 Lunar Mission
Vice President Mike Pence visited and gave remarks in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the agency’s Apollo 11 Moon landing and announce to America the completion of NASA’s Orion crew capsule for the first Artemis lunar mission.
“Thanks to the hard work of the men and women of NASA, and of American industry, the Orion crew vehicle for the Artemis 1 mission is complete and ready to begin preparations for its historic first flight,” said Vice President Pence.
Basically, the Orion crew capsule that will bring astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since the end of the Apollo program is ready for its first trip to lunar orbit, currently set for sometime after June 2020.
NASA’s goal 50 years ago was to prove the agency could land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. The goal now is to return to the Moon in a sustainable way to prepare for the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars for the first time ever.
Orion’s Moon Mission –
Orion won’t be carrying anyone for its first Moon mission. Instead, as part of Artemis 1, it’ll fly uncrewed propelled by the new Space Launch System; spend a total of three weeks in space including six days orbiting the Moon, and then return back to Earth. Once back, it’ll perform a crucial test of high speed re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere; to demonstrate the efficacy of the Orion capsule’s thermal shielding prior to carrying actual crew for Artemis 2 in 2022; and ultimately delivering astronauts back to the lunar surface with Artemis 3 in 2024.
This isn’t Orion’s first trip to space; however – that happened back in 2014 with Exploration Flight Test 1; another uncrewed mission in which Orion spent just four-hours in space, orbiting the Earth twice and then returning to ground. This mission used a Delta IV rocket instead of the new SLS, and was meant to test key systems prior to Artemis.
More Insight –
NASA also mentioned the following about Orion’s mission in the future –
“Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with SLS and the lunar Gateway. During Artemis 1, SLS will send the uncrewed spacecraft – consisting of the crew and service modules – thousands of miles past the Moon for the first in a series of increasingly complex missions. Artemis 2 will be the first of these new missions to the Moon with astronauts on board, followed by Artemis 3, which will launch the next American moonwalkers into a new era of exploration.
Working with U.S. companies and international partners, NASA will push the boundaries of human exploration forward to the Moon. Through Artemis, the agency will establish a sustainable human presence at the Moon by 2028 to continue scientific research and discovery, demonstrate new technologies, and lay the foundation for future missions to Mars.
For more information about America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/moontomars “