After years of waiting finally, Artemis shoots her glorious dart into space. The program dedicated to the twin sister of Apollo aims to return the human presence on the Moon again, this time to remain with the most ambitious space program ever made. But like every story, it needs a first chapter, ARTEMIS I.
The roar of the SLS
This mission, postponed since 2016, is a general test of every component, every mechanism, and every maneuver to get ready to put astronauts in the Orion capsule; you never want to find yourself in an emergency mounting a square oxygen filter in a round seat, right? (Apollo 13 mentioned)
Anyway, the launch test without crew was a magnificent show; watching all the four RS-25s and two Solid Rockets Boosters (SRB) blasting a huge fireball is a show that remembers ancient legends like the Saturn V, but the present is now and the Orange beast – the most powerful rockets ever made – flew perfectly. About two minutes after the launch, which took place from platform 39B of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the rocket’s flight computer ordered to jettison the two SRBs as planned. More than 2763,35 liters (730,000 gallons ) of propellant in the SLS launch vehicle were burned during ascent before the core stage separated from the spacecraft. This time the propellant was loaded without any issues, despite previously launch attempt, except for a very little problem that require the rapid operation of the Red Team (personnel specially trained to conduct operations at the launch pad during cryogenic loading operations).
And after the launch?
The path consists of 17 different milestones, all of them essential for the success of the mission; After the T-0 a crucial point is Orion solar array wing deployment 18:09 minutes after the liftoff. moreover, during the journey to the moon the Orion capsule will deploy several mini-satellites called CubeSat and then it will complete all its maneuvers like the perigee raise maneuver. After that the Orion capsule will remain in orbit around the moon and then return to earth.
At this point, we just have to say GO NASA, GO SLS, GO ORION