See NASA’s plans for the next Artemis missions – 12/16/2022 – Science

O Test flight of Artemis 1 mission endedbut Artemis 2 —which will be the first with astronauts on board— won’t happen until at least 2024.

In a recent interview, Bill Nelson, the administrator of Nasacomplained about the long wait between Artemis 1 and Artemis 2.

“I have created the biggest fuss because of this,” he said. “If this first mission succeeds, achieves its objectives and is safe for astronauts, why can’t we do the next one in less than two years?”

Nelson said that years ago, to save money, NASA decided to reuse some of the electronic equipment, known as avionics, from Artemis 1’s Orion capsule in Artemis 2’s new Orion capsule.

“It takes them two years to strip the avionics and redo it,” said Nelson. “This is very frustrating for me, but it is what it is.”

There will be four astronauts aboard Artemis 2🇧🇷 Three will be from NASA and one will be Canadian, as provided for in the part of the agreement that defines the participation of the Canadian Space Agency in the Artemis program. NASA has not yet announced the names of the astronauts who will fly on the mission.

The trajectory of Artemis 2 will be quite simple. After launch, the second phase of the Space Launch System will launch Orion into an elliptical orbit that extends up to 2,800 kilometers above Earth, giving astronauts time to check the functioning of Orion’s systems.

Then, when Orion returns to the orbit’s starting point, its engine will fire to launch it towards the moon🇧🇷 In the Artemis 2 mission, the Orion spacecraft will not enter orbit around the Moon; instead, it will use the Moon’s gravity to return to Earth, expected to land in the Pacific Ocean. The entire trip should take about ten days.

The big event will be Artemis 3, currently scheduled for no earlier than 2025.

During the lunar landings of the program Apollo in the 1960s and 1970s, the lunar module was placed on the Saturn 5 rocket. The lunar module of Artemis 3 will be a version of the Starship rocket built by SpaceX🇧🇷 Lunar Starship will be released separately. Additional Starships will then be launched to replenish the Lunar Starship’s propellant (rocket fuel) tanks before it leaves Earth orbit.

On the Moon, the Starship module will enter something known as a nearly rectilinear halo orbit, or NRHO.

Halo orbits are influenced by the gravities of two bodies—in this case, the Earth and the Moon—which help make the orbit highly stable, minimizing the amount of propellant needed to keep the spacecraft in lunar orbit. A spacecraft in this orbit never passes behind the Moon, where communications with Earth are cut off.

Once Starship is orbiting the Moon, the Space Launch System rocket will send four astronauts in an Orion capsule into the same nearly rectilinear halo orbit. Orion will dock with the Starship. Two of the astronauts will transfer to the Starship rocket, landing somewhere near the moon’s south pole, while the other two will remain in orbit in Orion.

After a week or so on the surface of the Moon, the two astronauts will depart on the Starship and rendezvous with Orion in orbit. Orion will then fly the four astronauts back to Earth.

In August, NASA announced 13 potential landing sites near the lunar south pole.

Astronauts aboard Artemis 4 will head to the Gateway, a space station-like outpost that NASA will build in the same nearly rectilinear halo orbit used for Artemis 3. This mission will use a Space Launch System rocket with a second modernized phase, giving it enough power to drive the Gateway’s habitat module along with it.

NASA’s original plan was for Artemis 4 to handle the construction of the Gateway. This year, however, the American space agency decided that the mission will also include a trip to the lunar surface. Last month, NASA announced that SpaceX will supply the Artemis 4 lander.

In the case of Artemis 5 and later missions, the lunar module will be docked with the Gateway. Astronauts will arrive at the Gateway in Orion and then transfer to the lunar module for the journey to the surface of the Moon.

NASA is considering bids from a different company to supply the Artemis 5 lander. Blue Origina rocket company created by Jeff Bezosfounder of Amazon.

NASA would then bid for future lunar landers, much as it hired companies to deliver cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station.

Translated by Clara Allain

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