by Alan Davison | June 24, 2021 5:18 am
NASA Space Launch System (SLS) is a rocket designed to stretch past the earth’s gravity into space. SLS plans to carry humans to Mars, the moon, and even deep into space. The first destination is the moon, and NASA plans to land a human mission by 2024.
SLS was meant to be launched by the end of 2021, but the plan is coming together fast and is expected to come earlier than expected. The parts are coming together quickly, which has led to the possibility of the rocket’s launch being earlier. This much-anticipated rocket launch is going to be a significant milestone in NASA.
On April 27th, the behemoth’s core stage was delivered at Kennedy Space Center by barge. This was the first stop before the behemoth was taken into the massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Together with the rest of the parts used in making the rocket, the behemoth will stay in VAB until the home launch. Each piece is going to be tested to ensure that it will be ready for launch.
NASA celebrated this milestone since it marked the first time that all the rocket’s components were in the same place. When the behemoth arrived, the NASA team that works in assembly spent the next few weeks in the transfer aisle of the VAB. It was then put on the mobile launch platform to join the two solid rocket boosters stacked in High Bay 3.
NASA’s New Moon Rocket has a unique design, and it offers diversity. Unlike the past, rockets were solid, and the plan could not be altered. When it comes to NASA’s New Moon Rocket, it has interchangeable parts that will enable the rocket to go on varying mission goals and help in improving technology.
According to the design used in making the product, it will continue to evolve even after humans have taken flight. This is a rocket that will be used for a long time. So, the parts used in the rocket will vary depending on the mission that it will be going on. It is this unique design that makes the rocket one of the most anticipated technologies in NASA.
The backbone of the rocket is the core stage which stands 65 meters.
For the New Moon Rocket to get to space, the new Orion spacecraft and the SLS will work together to prepare for the first blast off. The blow-off will not have a crew present. The uncrewed test is meant to take place later in the year. According to the agency officials, if all goes as planned, the flight can take place in August 2021 instead of November 2021.
According to the process and the effort NASA has put in place, it is expected that NASA will be on track to move 98 meters rocked to pad 39B for the preflight testing in September. During the preflight testing, the crew would run through the launch countdown procedure and mock fueling.
The engine power used in the SLE rocket is the same that was used to control the space shuttle- Four RS-25 engines. However, to ensure that the rocket has enough power, it will also boost the twin solid rocket boosters to generate over 8 million pounds of thrust. The Aerojet Rocketdyne engines will also be used as part of the test on the SLS rocket.
Before the rocket launch, several test runs must be made to ensure that the missile is ready for launch. NASA’s new Moon Rocket was tested at the Stennis Space Center. The center is known to be the home of rocket testing. The first test was done in January but ended prematurely. After fixing the issues that were presented on the first test, another test was done in March.
The test done stimulates the actual launch. The test encompasses the firing up of the engines to ensure that the rocket has enough power to get to space. The engine will burn for more than eight minutes while the rocket is affixed to a stand.
The first launch is expected to occur by late November or earlier if things go according to the plan. The mission is known as Artemis 1, and it is meant to last about three weeks. The test will have no crew present; the rocket is intended to go to the moon and back. If everything goes as planned, then it will pave the way for Artemis 2.
The Artemis 2 is meant to carry a four-person crew around the moon by the year 2023. In addition, NASA plans to start landing Astronauts near the lunar south pole using developed Lunar Landers. NASA has already selected the first of the Landers that will be used to land the first Artemis crew on the moon.
The launch is not possible since the assembly is not completed. But according to NASA, the assembly will go fast. The next step is to install the launch vehicle adapter known as the LSVA. When this stage is complete, there will be an upper stage known as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion (ICPS), a hydrogen-fueled upper stage.
When everything is in place, the crew will install a structure that will stimulate the weight of Orion so that more tests can be done on the rocket. This will help make sure that everything is in place and that there are no unwanted surprises by the launch time.
NASA’s New Moon Rocket launch started with many disappointments and things not going as planned. But thanks to the NASA team working tirelessly to help with the launch and ensuring that everything goes as planned, it is possible for the launch to occur as early as August.
However, even if there are any delays, one thing is for sure the launch will take place before the year ends. If the launch is successful, it might be possible for people to go to the moon using this rocket by 2024. However, tests are still being done to determine if this will be possible.12
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