In November of 2021, NASA will start a replacement era of space exploration as they create the inaugural launch of the Space Launch System (SLS). When it enters service, this booster is going to be the foremost powerful rocket since the Saturn V, which took the Apollo astronauts to the Moon. This is often fitting since the SLS are going to be the rocket returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024 as a part of Project Artemis.
NASA has been running the Core Stage through a series of tests designed to check all the systems and components of the heavy-launch system to get the SLS ready for its first launch collectively referred to as a “Green Run.” subsequent step during this process are going to be a second Green Run Hot Fire Test, where all four RS-25 engines on the SLS Core Stage will fire directly to point out they will operate as a part of one integrated system.
In preparation, NASA recently issued a call for participation for US media to attend the event, which can happen at the B-2 Test Stand at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Missippissi. NASA is targeting the week of Feb. 21st, with the precise day and time to be determined pending completion of the test readiness review. Media people who wish to attend this are asked to submit requests for accreditation before 4 P.M. EST on Monday, Feb. 8th.
The image shows the SLS Core Stage lifted by crane onto the B-2 Test Stand at the NASA Stennis Space Center.
As we explored during a previous article, this hot fire test is that the final during a series of eight tests designed to make sure that the Core Stage’s systems are ready for spaceflight. The test will contain engineers fully-loading the Core Stage and firing the engines for a period of up to eight minutes. this enables the engineering teams to demonstrate that the engines, tanks, fuel lines, valves, and software can all perform together as they might during a launch.
The first attempt happened on the afternoon of Jan. 16th and was a partial success. The Core Stage was fully loaded with cryogenic fuel and every one four engines ignited, but an unexpected anomaly during the test-fire caused the automated systems to abort a touch over a moment in. However, a post-test analysis revealed that the abort was thanks to the test parameters being kept deliberately conservative to make sure safety.
After further confirming that the Core Stage was in fitness, NASA decided in late-January to proceed with the second hot fire test. At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida the work is going on at the moment on the solid rocket booster segment. Recently, engineers at NASA Kennedy received the third of 5 boosters’ elements, which are being stacked on the mobile launcher inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
The image shows the inside of VAB at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the booster element for Artemis I are being stacked on the mobile launcher.
Following the completion of the second hot fire test, NASA will ship the Core Stage to NASA Kennedy, where engineers will integrate it with the fully-assembled boosters and therefore the Orion spacecraft. All of those elements together structure the Artemis I mission, the primary launch of the SLS and Orion together. On this inaugural launch, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft are going to be sent on a 25-day flight round the Moon then return to Earth.
This mission will validate the SLS’s ability to conduct missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) if it got successful. this may be followed by Artemis II, currently expected to happen in August of 2023, which can be the primary crewed mission involving an Orion spacecraft (also on a circumlunar flight). Artemis III, the long-awaited return to the lunar surface, remains targeted for October of 2024.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the agency’s chief health and medic, NASA are going to be issuing a limited number of press credentials for this event. thanks to COVID-19 safety restrictions at Stennis, all attendees are required to follow quarantine requirements in the least times.