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Topic: NASA’s Space Launch System

NASA selects SpaceX to Land Astronauts on the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is getting ready to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the agency has selected SpaceX to continue the development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.

At least one of those astronauts will make history as the first woman on the Moon.

Another goal of the Artemis program includes landing the first person of color on the lunar surface.

Illustration of SpaceX Starship human lander design that will carry the first NASA astronauts to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program. (SpaceX)

Illustration of SpaceX Starship human lander design that will carry the first NASA astronauts to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program. (SpaceX)

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NASA’s successfully tests RS-25 Rocket Engines

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The largest rocket element NASA has ever built, the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, fired its four RS-25 engines for 8 minutes and 19 seconds Thursday at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The successful test, known as a hot fire, is a critical milestone ahead of the agency’s Artemis I mission, which will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a test flight around the Moon and back to Earth, paving the way for future Artemis missions with astronauts.

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a second hot fire test, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for the full-duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. (NASA/Robert Markowitz)

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a second hot fire test, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for the full-duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. (NASA/Robert Markowitz)

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NASA Building Core Stages for Second, Third Artemis Flights

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Technicians are simultaneously manufacturing NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) core stages for the Artemis II and Artemis III lunar missions at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The core stage for the deep space rocket consists of two huge propellant tanks, four RS-25 engines, and miles of cabling for the avionics systems and flight computers.

All the main core stage structures for Artemis II, the first mission with astronauts, have been built and are being outfitted with electronics, feedlines, propulsion systems, and other components.

Intertank Assembly on Thursday, September 17, 2020. (NASA)

Intertank Assembly on Thursday, September 17, 2020. (NASA)

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NASA simulates Rocket Launch for Artemis Moon Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – As part of the Artemis program, NASA is preparing to test the integrated systems that will take crew on missions to the Moon, including a powerful new rocket that will launch crew and cargo to lunar orbit.

There are many critical moments in a rocket’s journey from the ground to orbit, but perhaps none more so than the moment of ignition from the launch pad. When the Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket engines begin to roar – emitting fire, smoke, and shockwaves – it is critical the entire launch complex is designed to withstand the pressure.

Simulating NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket engines. (NASA/Michael Barad/Timothy Sandstrom)

Simulating NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket engines. (NASA/Michael Barad/Timothy Sandstrom)

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NASA looks to use Electric Propulsion for future Space Travel

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCleveland, OH – Since the beginning of the space program, people have been captivated by big, powerful rockets—like NASA’s Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo to the lunar surface, or the Space Launch System that will produce millions of pounds of thrust as it sends Artemis astronauts back to the Moon.

But what if the most powerful propulsion system in NASA’s toolbox produces less than one pound of thrust while reaching speeds of up to 200,000 mph? What if it costs less, carries more, and uses less fuel?

A solar electric propulsion Hall Effect thruster being tested under vacuum conditions at NASA. (NASA)

A solar electric propulsion Hall Effect thruster being tested under vacuum conditions at NASA. (NASA)

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NASA releases Artemis Mission Plan to Land on Moon in 2024

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Following a series of critical contract awards and hardware milestones, NASA has shared an update on its Artemis program, including the latest Phase 1 plans to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024.

In the 18 months since NASA accepted a bold challenge to accelerate its exploration plans by more than four years and establish sustainable exploration by the end of the decade, the agency has continued to gain momentum toward sending humans to the Moon again for the first time since the last Apollo lunar mission in 1972.

NASA's Artemis Plan to land on the moon. (NASA)

NASA’s Artemis Plan to land on the moon. (NASA)

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NASA says Rocket Engines may soon be produced by 3D Printing

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – As part of the Artemis program, NASA is returning astronauts to the Moon where we will prepare for human exploration of Mars. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, experts from NASA, industry, and academia are pioneering methods to print the rocket parts that could power those journeys.

NASA’s Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology project, or RAMPT, is advancing development of an additive manufacturing technique to 3D print rocket engine parts using metal powder and lasers.

Blown powder directed energy deposition can produce large structures – such as these engine nozzles – cheaper and quicker than traditional fabrication techniques. (NASA)

Blown powder directed energy deposition can produce large structures – such as these engine nozzles – cheaper and quicker than traditional fabrication techniques. (NASA)

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NASA tests SLS Booster for improvement for Artemis Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – As NASA begins assembling the boosters for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will power the first Artemis mission to the Moon, teams in Utah are evaluating materials and processes to improve rocket boosters for use on missions after Artemis III.

NASA completed a full-scale booster test for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket in Promontory, Utah, on September 2nd, 2020. NASA and Northrop Grumman, the SLS booster lead contractor, will use data from the test to evaluate the motor’s performance using potential new materials and processes that can be incorporated into future boosters.

NASA and Northrop Grumman successfully complete the Flight Support Booster-1 (FSB-1) test in Promontory, Utah, on Sept. 2. The full-scale booster firing was conducted with new materials and processes that may be used for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket boosters. (NASA)

NASA and Northrop Grumman successfully complete the Flight Support Booster-1 (FSB-1) test in Promontory, Utah, on Sept. 2. The full-scale booster firing was conducted with new materials and processes that may be used for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket boosters. (NASA)

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NASA’s Artemis I Rocket completes Four Green Runs

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket core stage for the Artemis I lunar mission has successfully completed its first four Green Run tests and is building on those tests for the next phase of checkout as engineers require more capability of the hardware before hot-firing the stage and its four powerful engines.

Green Run is a demanding series of eight tests and nearly 30 firsts: first loading of the propellant tanks, first flow through the propellant feed systems, first firing of all four engines, and first exposure of the stage to the vibrations and temperatures of launch.

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is completing the Green Run test for the rocket’s core stage, shown installed on the top left side of the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. For Green Run, the team is completing a series of eight tests culminating with Test 8, a full-up hot fire test that lasts eight minutes. Flames from the test will exit out of the yellow flame bucket shown here on the north side of the test stand. (NASA/Stennis)

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is completing the Green Run test for the rocket’s core stage, shown installed on the top left side of the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. For Green Run, the team is completing a series of eight tests culminating with Test 8, a full-up hot fire test that lasts eight minutes. Flames from the test will exit out of the yellow flame bucket shown here on the north side of the test stand. (NASA/Stennis)

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NASA Completes Structural Testing of Artemis Space Launch System

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – On Wednesday, June 24th, 2020, engineers completed the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s structural testing campaign for the Artemis lunar missions by testing the liquid oxygen structural test article to find its point of failure.

“The Space Launch System and Marshall test team have done a tremendous job of accomplishing this test program, marking a major milestone not only for the SLS Program but also for the Artemis program,” said John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager. “From building the test stands, support equipment and test articles to conducting the tests and analyzing the data, it is remarkable work that will help send astronauts to the Moon.”

Engineers completed almost 200 tests on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket by breaking the liquid oxygen tank test article. This test was the last in a 3-year structural campaign to ensure the rocket’s structure was designed to endure the rigors of spacefllight. (NASA/David Olive)

Engineers completed almost 200 tests on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket by breaking the liquid oxygen tank test article. This test was the last in a 3-year structural campaign to ensure the rocket’s structure was designed to endure the rigors of spacefllight. (NASA/David Olive)

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