NASA will test a mega-rocket that will take humans back to the moon
NASA is getting ready to test its mega-rocket in the “Wet Dress Rehearsal” for the upcoming lunar mission.
All components of the Artemis I mission are free to land on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
NASA’s 2022 mission to the moon is called Artemis 1.
It will test the hardware so that NASA can land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon by 2025.
That crude mission is being called Artemis 3 and there is a lot to be done before it happens.
Before launching Artemis 1, NASA wants to test all the components.
All major pieces should be on the launch pad on March 17th.
Artemis 1 is not a crude mission, but it needs to orbit the moon to test three major components.
These are NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), its Orion spacecraft and the European Service Module (ESM).
The Orion spacecraft and ESM must travel within 62 miles of the Moon’s surface and then travel 40,000 miles.
It will take about three weeks to complete the mission and land in the Pacific Ocean from San Diego.
NASA refers to the Orion spacecraft and SLS as “mega moon rockets”.
It will take about 11 hours for the mega rocket to move from its storage location to the launch pad.
Once there, NASA says it will take about two weeks for experts to prepare for the “wet dress rehearsal.”
This means propellers will be added to the rocket tanks and a full launch countdown will take place.
That should happen in early April.
However, NASA’s SLS and Orion spacecraft will not go anywhere.
When Artemis 1 actually lands will determine how the device behaves.
Tom Whitmeyer, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development, previously said: “The agency is waiting for a wet dress rehearsal to see how we are doing. We will set a launch date at that time.
“We continue to evaluate the May launch window, but we recognize that we have a lot of work ahead of us and we need to make sure we go through that testing and evaluation activity before we can set a launch commitment date.”
If all goes according to plan, all equipment will be returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building and the launch date will finally be set.
It can be almost any time in May, June or early July.
It all depends on the weather conditions and where the moon is in its lunar cycle.
This year’s potential launch windows are May 7-21, June 6-16, June 29-July 1 and July 5-12.