NASA Astronauts Set to Take the Wheel of Lunar Spacecraft for Artemis 2 Test

Artemis 2 astronauts are preparing for an important test of the Orion capsule, to see if the Moon’s crew can manage the maneuvers. management management monthly management.

NASA on Artemis 2 works It is expected to launch in September 2025, carrying four passengers aboard the Orion capsule for the first time on a 10-day trip to the Moon and back. While most of the spacecraft’s maneuvers are automated, for about three hours into the flight, the astronauts must hold the wheel to steer Orion in sequence. NASA.

To prepare for this book process, the staff is planning to participate in a floor show that will last for an hour. “There’s always a difference between the ground simulation and how the actual spacecraft will fly in space,” Brian Anderson, Orion’s rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking manager within the Orion Program, said in a statement. “The purpose of this demonstration is to test aircraft that help us reduce the risk of future operations involving encounters and stops with other aircraft.”

Although the Artemis 2 crew will not land on the surface of the moon, the crew will travel to the far side of the Moon at a distance of 370,150 kilometers from Earth. The Artemis 2 crew includes NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Reid Wiseman, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

The Orion capsule will launch a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, separating itself from the rocket and firing several separation bolts. When the capsule is at a safe distance from the launch vehicle, Orion will perform a reverse thruster to turn and face the surface, known as the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS).

Once at a distance of 300 feet (90 meters), the crew will take the Orion capsule to maneuver within 30 feet (9 meters) using the translation hand controls (to move the spacecraft in different directions) and the hand controls (to change). orientation). “The crew will see their targets using a surveillance camera mounted inside the hatch window above the crew compartment to see how they are aligning with the docking target mounted on the IPS,” Anderson said.

During that time, Artemis astronauts will also perform small maneuvers to see how the spacecraft performs next to another spacecraft. When that happens, the Orion spacecraft will move back to allow the rocket stage to rotate to protect its heat-resistant components, and then the crew will follow the stage for another test before returning.

The rocket section will return to Earth as Orion begins its journey to the Moon. “As with most of our tests, it’s possible that close-up shows won’t go as well as we’d hoped,” Anderson said. “Even if we don’t complete every part of the demonstration, we will continue to test the way we planned to achieve our main goals, including evaluating the performance of Orion and its crew in deep space and keeping them safe during the safety mission.”

Earlier this year, NASA announced that it was delaying his turn for Artemis to address safety and technical issues related to the vessel. The Artemis 2 mission was originally planned for November 2024 (now moved to September 2025) and the subsequent Artemis 3 mission, originally planned for late 2025, has been delayed until September 2026.

NASA is still trying to solve the problem releasing the Orion capsule’s heat shield, which is designed to protect astronauts from extreme heat while refueling in Earth’s atmosphere. The space agency has made it clear that it will not launch Artemis 2 unless it explains why the heat shield was damaged more than it should have been during the Artemis 1 mission.

The Artemis team had also discovered problems with the valves in the Orion capsule, the life support capsule designed to keep the crew inside the spacecraft. The valves passed the Artemis 2 test, but failed the Artemis 3 performance test due to a design flaw. NASA engineers also noticed flaws in the performance of Orion’s batteries, which are designed to be used in an emergency if the spacecraft needs to separate from the rocket.

A group of astronauts still preparing for the upcoming triplearning how to operate the ship by hand to show it around.

Want to know more about humanity’s next great leap into space? See our full article on NASA’s Artemis Moon programthe new one Space Launch System (SLS) rockets and Orion spacecraftand recently completed the Artemis 1 mission around the Moon, and four people Artemis 2 crew, NASA and Axiom’s Artemis Moon suitand what is to come Lunar Gateway space station. And for more space in your life, follow us Twitter and bookmark Gizmodo Space page.

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