A new time clip shows an astronaut lunar rocket under construction at NASA, ahead of its launch in 2024.
Artemis 2’s dual rocket boosters will add gravity to NASA’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, which will launch four astronauts on a mission to the moon in 2024. Each solid rocket booster made by Northrop Grumman weighs 1.6 million pounds (720,000 kg), and is Equivalent to 1.6 million pounds (720,000 kg) NASA officials said Equivalent to the mass of four blue whales.
The massive boosters arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) by train in early October, following construction work in Utah. The teams at KSC are now focusing on assembling parts of each booster’s tail assembly — that’s the part that guides the boosters as they fly during launch.
“Here, the right and left rear engine pieces are mated to the rear skirts, which will be followed by installation of the rear exit cones,” NASA officials said. wrote November 3 In a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Related: everything is ready! A train hauls parts of the Artemis 2 moon rocket to NASA’s launch center (photos and video)
As new time-lapse footage shows, moving these massive pieces around the KSC plant is no easy feat. Each piece weighs approximately 150 tons or 150,000 kilograms, and their enormous height also requires care. The two-story sections range in height from 26 to 33 feet (8 to 10 m), depending on their location on the booster.
Technicians carefully move each part of the reinforcement using the facility’s two 200-ton cranes, Heather Gillette, reinforcement flow manager, said in a report. October Live Stream on Facebook. She added that after the technicians place the cranes “on both sides of the (reinforced) part, they rotate it (the part) from horizontal to vertical, and move it to our construction platforms.”
Each booster will include five parts, once fully assembled. Design, by the way, depends on Space ship Software booster – but a little longer to support the larger SLS. In practical terms, this means technicians will put five pieces on each SLS booster, instead of four pieces on the shuttle boosters.
Related: Watch the fiery separation of NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket boosters
Back-end assembly work is taking place at KSC’s recycling, processing and batching facility while other reinforced parts are stored nearby. (The rear skirts were already in place at KSC before the other reinforcement parts arrived, as they were manufactured at the center’s reinforcement manufacturing facility.)
Later, all booster segments — fully assembled, and parts awaiting construction — will move to NASA’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC. The rocket pieces will then see “further assembly atop the mobile launch pad,” or the large tower that supports the SLS system during launch.
The mobile launch pad is currently busy with basic testing on Launch Pad 39A, where the mission will launch to the Moon. She recently underwent a Water deluge test To examine the system that safely blocks strong SLS and boosted shock waves during launch. The sound of firing may unnecessarily damage equipment.
All four astronauts are also busy training for this They get to know themselves With the Orion spacecraftbefore conducting a landing simulation test with US Navy and NASA officials at the end of 2023. After selection in April 2023, they were scheduled to take their training flow About 18 monthsThis means the mission difference Formulating procedures and devices The crew also trains.
Artemis 2 will fly around the Moon and back to test Orion’s systems before an expected landing on the Moon’s surface Artemis 3 In 2025 or 2026. The quartet of astronauts aboard Artemis 2 includes NASA Cmdr. Reed WisemanNASA pilot Victor GloverNASA mission specialist Christina Koch And Canadian Space Agency Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen. Glover will become the first black astronaut to venture farther Low Earth orbitWhile Koch will be the first woman and Hansen the first Canadian.
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