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Posts Tagged ‘Space Launch System’

02/22/2021 – Ephemeris – What’s happening with NASA’s Artemis Moon Program

February 22, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, February 22nd. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 6:21, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:30. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 5:28 tomorrow morning.

It appears that the Artemis Moon Program is still on schedule despite a new administration and a setback when a few weeks ago an all up 8 minute firing of the 4 main engines of the Space Launch System Core Stage aborted after little over a minute. (NASA is scheduled to repeat this Green Run test this week) The first launch of the complete rocket is slated for later this year with an uncrewed lunar orbit mission. Recently NASA announced that Elon Musk’s SpaceX was awarded the contract to launch the first two lunar gateway modules on a single Falcon Heavy rocket. The two modules, Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) will be placed in low earth orbit. From there the PPE would use its ion engines to propel the two modules out to a near rectilinear halo orbit of the Moon over many months.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

SLS first green run at Stennis

SLS first green run of all 4 RS-25 engines mounted on the core stage for the Artemis-1 mission on a test stand at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Credit: NASA.

Lunar Gateway PPE and HALO modules

An artist’s depiction of the Lunar Gateway PPE and HALO modules in lunar orbit. The PPE module is the part with the solar panels. Credit: NASA.

 

10/02/2020 – Ephemeris – The rocket that will take NASA crews to the Moon

October 2, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, October 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 7:20, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:43. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 8:05 this evening.

While we’re looking at the nearly full Moon tonight lets look at the rocket that will take crews to the Moon or as NASA says first woman and next man to the Moon in the Artemis program. It’s called the Space Launch System or SLS, which has been in development for a very long time. The core stage looks the color of the Space Shuttle main tank, because it uses the same insulation. At its bottom are four shuttle main engines. These will not be reused. Strapped to the sides will be two shuttle derived solid rocket boosters or SRBs, with 5 segments, rather than 4, and are upgraded for extra thrust. These will also be discarded, rather than reused. The second stage now is an interim stage to be replaced after a few flights with a more powerful stage. To top it off will be the service module and Orion capsule with an escape tower.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Space Launch System Block 1b

The Block 1b version of the Space Launch System (SLS) which uses elongated Space Shuttle boosters and a core stage with 4 Space Shuttle main engines for the first stage. At lift-off the core stage and the boosters will ignite. The boosters will burn for two minutes and 6 seconds 7,2000,000 pounds  (32,000 kN) of thrust. The core stage contributes 1,670,000 pounds  (7,440 kN) of thrust and will burn for 8 minutes, nearly achieving orbit. The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage and later the Exploration Upper Stage will place the payload first into orbit, and then to send it to the Moon, or interplanetary destination. Credit NASA.

Note that the rocket configuration does not contain a lunar lander craft like the Saturn V of Apollo. The lander, a commercially developed craft will be sent up before the astronauts by a commercial company like SpaceX or Blue Origin and be waiting in lunar orbit or at the Lunar Gateway satellite.

12/05/2019 – Ephemeris – Artemis the new Moon program

December 5, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, December 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 58 minutes, setting at 5:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:05. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:01 tomorrow morning. | NASA has a new program to return to the Moon, perhaps to stay. The program is called Artemis, named after the Greek god Apollo’s twin sister. NASA is building a massive rocket called the Space Launch System, or SLS, and the Orion

, which I’m sure will guarantee European astronauts a ride. This is not going to be an Apollo type one rocket up and back. There will be a space station called the Lunar Gateway of International partners that will orbit the Moon. There the crew of the Orion Spacecraft will transfer to a Lunar Lander for the trip to and from the surface of the Moon. It’s a heavy push to accomplish by 2024.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Block 1b vrsion of the Space Launch System (SLS) which uses elongated Space Shuttle boosters and a core stage with 4 Space Shuttle main engines for the first stage. Credit NASA.

Orion MPC

Cone-shaped Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle with a European Service Module. Credit NASA.

Lunar Gateway

Lunar Gateway supplied by the same partners that built the International Space Station. It will orbit the Moon, Credit NASA.

Lunar Lander

Lunar Lander. This vehicle has not been designed yet. This is Blue Origin’s Ascent Module on top of a yet to be designed propulsion module. Credit Blue Origin.