NASA unveils spacecraft to carry four people to the moon

This is the spacecraft that NASA will launch to the moon, carrying four astronauts to orbit Earth’s natural satellite for the first time since 1972.

The Orion spacecraft, which will be used on NASA’s Artemis 2 mission to orbit the moon, underwent inspections last week inside the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Inspection Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Artemis 2 will be a 10-day test flight, scheduled to launch in September 2026 on the agency’s Space Launch System rocket. It will be the first time astronauts will fly into space on the Space Launch System rocket, which provides more than 2 million pounds of thrust, according to NASA.

Basic stage

A photo of the 212-foot-tall SLS core stage is taken at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Published Last month. The stage’s fuel tanks hold 733,000 gallons of liquid fuel to power four RS-25 engines at its base. It will soon be on its way, via barge, to Kennedy Space Center.

The Artemis 2 mission will be a follow-up to Artemis 1, which went beyond the moon in late 2022, but without astronauts on board.

Solar eclipse

The Artemis 2 mission is scheduled to be the first of three crewed missions to the Moon, testing the Orion spacecraft’s life support systems with four astronauts on board.

After launching from Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, Orion will circle Earth twice before moving into a highly elliptical orbit. About 24 hours later, the crew will witness a brief solar eclipse near the moon before launching into what rocket scientists call a translunar injection — a maneuver that sends a spacecraft on an unstoppable journey into lunar orbit.

None of the four Artemis 2 crew members will land on the moon. Like the Apollo 8 mission in 1968—the first time humans left Earth’s orbit—Artemis 2 will be a flyby of the moon’s surface. However, Orion will also travel 4,600 miles beyond the far side of the moon.

After returning to Earth, Orion will land in the Pacific Ocean.

Crew preparation

The Orion test comes the same week that NASA conducted a Advertise Astronaut Andre Douglas is a backup member of the Artemis 2 crew. He will train with the four-person crew already selected for the mission — NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch, and the Canadian Space Agency’s Jeremy Hansen. Hansen’s backup is Jenny Gibbons.

Artemis 2 is the flagship mission of the Artemis 3 program, which is scheduled to be the second crewed mission in the program, and the first crewed landing on the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972.

walk on the moon

During the Artemis 3 program, two astronauts will land on the moon in a SpaceX lander, likely near the Shackleton Crater near the moon’s south pole. The astronauts’ names have not yet been announced, but NASA has said it plans to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon.

In May, Douglas and fellow NASA astronaut Kate Rubins recently conducted four experiments. Moon walk simulation For the Artemis 3 mission to the San Francisco Volcanic Field, a moon-like volcanic field in northern Arizona.

Artemis missions are scheduled to be launched every year after 2030, and Artemis 5, 6, 7 or 8 missions are also scheduled to take astronauts to the Moon’s surface.

I wish you clear skies and wide eyes.

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