NASA’s giant moon rocket has passed all performance tests, and engineers are now scrutinising the performance of the Space Launch System (SLS) in preparation for the first crewed Artemis missions.
NASA is still analysing data and learning more about the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s premiere performance during the agency’s Artemis I launch on November 16th of this year.
“NASA’s Space Launch System rocket has built the groundwork for the Artemis Generation and the future of deep space flight,” stated SLS Program Manager John Honeycutt.
“There is an engineering and an art to successfully developing and launching a rocket, and the study on the SLS rocket’s initial flight puts NASA and its partners in an excellent position to power missions for Artemis II and beyond,” he said.
The preliminary post-flight data showed that all SLS systems operated admirably and that the designs are ready to support a crewed trip on Artemis II.
The core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket contains over 1,000 sensors and 45 miles of cabling. The Artemis I flight test was the only way to get precise data on how the rocket behaved during incidents such as booster separation.
SLS chief engineer John Blevins, “The information we received from Artemis I is essential in boosting confidence in this rocket to bring humanity back to the Moon.”
He continued, “The SLS team is already leveraging what we’ve learned about operations and assembly to streamline future missions. We will use what we learn from this flight test to improve the rocket’s performance in subsequent launches.”
Teams were also able to see how the rocket behaved while doing its in-space manoeuvres thanks to cameras and sensors. Engineers kept an eye on the rocket’s high heat and loud noises it made immediately after takeoff.
Through Artemis, NASA will set the stage for a sustained lunar presence and act as a stepping stone for astronauts travelling to Mars by putting the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon’s surface.
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