This is the result of NASA’s Flight Readiness Review, which was conducted on Monday. The review was an in-depth assessment of the readiness of the 322-foot (98 m) stack, which consists of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, currently on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. .
The Artemis team is targeting its first two-hour launch window from 8:33 a.m. ET to 10:33 a.m. ET on Monday, August 29. There are backup launch windows on September 2 and September 5.
The “take off” after the flight readiness review is a positive sign that things are on track for the mission, but there are still factors over the next week that could influence when the plane is taken off the platform, including bad weather.
There’s very little left on the to-do list after the rocket’s previous test rounds on the launch pad while rehearsing in wet clothes, which simulates each launch step without taking off. There is still an open element that the team will test on launch day, said Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis mission manager.
Starting the hydrogen, used to thermally condition the engines, did not occur during the final rehearsal of the wet robe, so this process is now a component of the launch countdown. This test will occur during a “quiet point” before the final countdown, said Charlie Blackwell Thompson, Artemis I launch director at the Kennedy Space Center.
The stack of rockets reached the launch pad on August 17 after a 4-mile (6.4 kilometer) flight aboard one of NASA’s giant Apollo-era crawlers from the Vehicle Assembly Building—just like the shuttle missions and Apollo Saturn V rockets once did. .
I will launch the unmanned Artemis I on a mission beyond the Moon and back to Earth. Once launched, the spacecraft will reach a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon, traveling 1.3 million miles (2.1 million km) over a 42-day period. Artemis I will fall into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego on October 10. Orion’s return will be faster and hotter than any spacecraft seen on its way back to Earth.
The Orion spacecraft will travel farther than any spacecraft ever designed for humans, reaching 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) beyond the far side of the moon, according to NASA.
There are no humans on board, but Orion will carry 120 pounds (54.4 kilograms) of memorabilia, including toys, Apollo 11 items and three statues.
At the headquarters of Orion’s commander will be Commander Monnequin Campos, a proper mannequin who can gather data on what the human crew may encounter in the future on a trip to the Moon. The model will wear the new Orion Crew Survival System suit designed for astronauts to wear during launch and return. The suit has two radiation sensors.
This mission will launch NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon and land the first woman and first people of color on the moon by 2025 — and eventually make way for human exploration of Mars.
I will also carry Artemis I a number of science experiments, some of which have been installed once the rocket and spacecraft reach the launch pad.
This week, Team Artemis will open the Orion slot once again to install the plush Snoopy game, which will serve as the mission’s zero-gravity indicator. Once the spacecraft reaches a microgravity environment in space, Snoopy will float through the crew capsule.
Bob Cabana, associate administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., considered watching the launch of Apollo 13 as a junior officer at the US Naval Academy.
“I never dreamed of ending up being an astronaut, let alone the director of the Kennedy Space Center or in the position I am in now,” Cabana said. “I am a product of the Apollo generation and I look forward to what you did for us. I can’t wait to see what comes from the generation of Artemis because I think it will inspire more than what Apollo did. It has been so rewarding to be able to witness all this work in review today and know we are ready to do it” .