Saturday, July 20, 2024

NASA has lost contact with Artemis I’s Orion capsule


We wrote recently of updates affiliate Artemis I mission who brought the Orion capsule in orbit about the moon and that he would bring it back to Earth by mid-December (the waters are scheduled for Dec. 11 near the California coast). This is the first test of this type of technology, and since the Apollo mission, a capsule approved for human transport has reached this distance. It’s all in preparation (in 2024) for the second mission that will see a crew on board without a moon landing (which will take place during the third mission, officially scheduled for 2025).

In general, the mission progresses regularly, showing high-impact videos and photos (its purpose, however, is not so directly). Never miss the unexpected. As mentioned before Orion capsule The connection is unexpectedly lost with the Control Center. Thanks to the work of the insiders, the systems were back up and running in the shortest possible time and no subsequent problems were encountered. Here’s what we know.

Artemis I: Orion capsule lost contact for 47 minutes

according to mentioned From NASAat 7:09 on November 23, 2022 (Italian time), NASA’s Mission Control Center had disconnection of data between Orion capsule Earth in an unexpected way. So it was not an expected phenomenon and it might be a problem if there was a human crew on board the spacecraft.

there Connection It was her time 47 minutes recovered After, after. Moment “Blackouts” mention when Deep Space Network It was in the process of being reconfigured, which has already been done several times since launch Artemis I (it happened on November 16), without causing any problems. The solution was to reconfigure the DSN on the ground side which fixed the issue.

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The exact reasons for what happened have not yet been revealed, but engineers are working to understand it and prevent it from happening again in the future. Despite this unexpected event, the capsule is still in perfect condition and the mission is proceeding as planned (new details may be presented at future conferences). The data that was being transmitted at the time of the communication failure was also saved on the board and transmitted later.


Meanwhile they were released High definition pictures near passage Orion capsule During the seventh day of Artemis I mission (on November 22). In particular minimum distance detected from the surface of a natural satellite 130.5 km. From there began the retrograde orbit trajectory that will bring it back to Earth in the next few days.

These aren’t the best pictures we have of the lunar surface but that’s because orbiters (like LRO) specialize in this task. On the other hand, spacecraft use their own cameras to detect images used for navigation and must be tested in the field to verify their ability to image in different lighting conditions. Day 8 (November 23) saw the entry into a far retrograde orbit as the capsule moves in the opposite direction to how the Moon orbits Earth and at a high distance from the satellite’s surface. At 4:49 today (November 24) Italian time, the Orion capsule was approximately 65,000 kilometers from the surface while the maximum distance will be reached around November 26.

Finally, with regard to the cameras mounted on solar panels that took the color images seen in recent days, they are manufactured products From Space Redwire (another Pixelink manufacturer). Although the full specifications are not yet available, we do know that these are products that send wireless data to the control system (but wired specifications also exist in other parts of the capsule). As shown From David Milinderson top of the camera system OrionThese will be GoPro-based solutions but completely revised in terms of external structure, software, and optics in order to be able to withstand the space and launch environment. If the live images seem to be low quality mainly because of the distance from the moon Which does not allow high bandwidth and other data must also be sent and received in the meantime. In part, the HD video clips arrived at a later date, while many other videos were saved to the on-board systems and will be retrieved when the capsule lands.

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