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Artemis II towards final assembly

Artemis II towards final assembly

The moon is getting closer and closer for the mission crew Artemis II.

NASA and its industrial partners, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing, have completed installation of all four RS-25 engines on the core stage of their Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and have begun Final integration tests At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Once this phase is completed, the main phase will be moved to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. In addition to 4 engines Basic stageIt is 64 meters high and contains two huge tanks that operate on liquid fuel. This stage will be responsible for providing the missile with the energy needed to move forward 450,000 kg of thrust. An explosion of energy concentrated in the first eight minutes of the flight that will take the four astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft into orbit to put themselves on a path to the moon.

NASA chart for Rs-25. Each of the four engines is as large as a small car.

The Space Launch System is the cornerstone of NASA’s deep space exploration program Orionto Portals Lunar orbit and commercial human landing systems. Currently, SLS is the only rocket capable of sending Orion, astronauts and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.

Currently scheduled no later than November 2024The Artemis 2 mission, which will last about 10 days, builds on the success of the unmanned Artemis 1 vehicle that flew in 2022. With this mission, NASA will have to demonstrate a wide range of capabilities needed for future missions to the Moon and beyond. . Artemis II will be the first with a crew on board the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft and will have to pave the way for the landing of astronauts on the Moon with Artemis III, which should take place by the end of 2025.

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Opening image: The four Rs-25 engines integrated into the SLS main platform. NASA credit