Connect with us

Science

Nasa Moon rocket core leaves for testing – Invest Records

Published

 on


Image copyright
NASA

Image caption

The first Artemis rocket stage was guided towards the Pegasus barge

Presentational white space


The first core stage for Nasa’s “mega-rocket”, the SLS, has left its factory in New Orleans for crucial tests to assess its readiness for launch.

The Space Launch System (SLS) is a critical part of the space agency’s Artemis programme, which aims to return Americans to the Moon by 2024.

The core stage is the centrepiece of the new rocket and will undergo comprehensive testing in Mississippi.

On Wednesday, it was placed on a barge which will sail it to its destination.

The rocket, which will be taller than a 30-storey building, is being built for Nasa by Boeing.

Nasa deputy administrator Jim Morhard attended the roll-out of the rocket stage from the Michoud Assembly Facility (Maf) in New Orleans where it was built.

Core stageImage copyright
NASA / Danny Nowlin

Image caption

The core stage provides two million pounds of thrust to help power the first Artemis mission to the Moon

He said it represented “an exciting leap forward in the Artemis program as Nasa teams make progress toward the launch pad”.

The rocket programme, which was announced in 2010, has been hit by delays and cost overruns.

Some in the space community believe it would be better to launch deep space missions on commercial rockets. But supporters of the programme say that Nasa needs its own heavy-lift launch capability.

After roll-out from the Maf, the core was loaded on to Nasa’s Pegasus barge to travel by water to the Stennis Space Center near Bay St Louis in Mississippi.

Core stage NasaImage copyright
NASA / Jared Lyons

Image caption

The stage will be transported by water from its factory in New Orleans to Mississippi

Presentational white space


Core stageImage copyright
NASA / Jared Lyons


Presentational white space


Core stageImage copyright
NASA / Jared Lyons


The test campaign at Stennis is called the “Green Run”, and will involve operating all the core stage systems simultaneously for the first time.

This will see the four powerful RS-25 engines fired for about eight minutes (or perhaps a little less), and throttled at different settings. This will mimic the levels of thrust needed during launch.

The SLS core stage contains two propellant tanks – one to hold liquid oxygen and another for liquid hydrogen. Together, they hold a combined 733,000 gallons (2.7 million litres) of propellant to power the engines.

The SLS was designed to re-use technology originally developed for the space shuttle programme, which ran from 1981-2011.

B-2 test standImage copyright
NASA

Image caption

The B-2 test stand at Nasa’s Stennis Space Center will be used for the Green Run campaign

The RS-25 thrusters are the same ones that powered the orbiter, and the SLS core stage is based on the external tank that fed the shuttle engines with propellant (albeit with significant modifications).

Two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) – similar to those that helped launch the shuttle – will sit either side of the SLS core.

The rocket will provide the power required to send the Orion spacecraft – Nasa’s next-generation crew vehicle – on its way to the Moon. The rocket’s maiden launch (Artemis-1) is expected to occur some time in 2021.

SLS core stageImage copyright
NASA

Image caption

Artwork: The SLS provides the power needed to send Orion on its way to the Moon

Last year, John Shannon, who has been Boeing’s head of the SLS programme since 2015, told me: “I suspect that once SLS is in the national capability, there won’t be a need for another heavy-lift vehicle like it for many years. So this is really a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

The core is the largest stage Nasa has ever had built at the Louisiana factory, including the Saturn V rocket stages for the Apollo programme.

“This is a historic moment for Nasa’s Artemis programme and a proud time for the… team as the first flight article leaves the factory floor,” said Julie Bassler, the Nasa SLS Stages manager.

Orion spacecraftImage copyright
NASA

Image caption

The Orion crew vehicle, and its service module – provided by the European Space Agency – are being tested in Ohio

Meanwhile, Nasa and its partners have completed production of the Orion spacecraft for the first Artemis mission. It is currently undergoing final testing at the Plum Brook Station in Ohio.

For the Artemis-1 mission, Orion will be sent on a loop around the Moon to test the hardware in deep space. The spacecraft will carry no crew.

The first mission to carry crew will be Artemis-2, which should send four astronauts on a lunar flyby.

Artemis-3, which is being targeted for 2024, will see a man and a woman land at the lunar south pole – the first time astronauts will have travelled to the lunar surface since 1972.

Follow Paul on Twitter.

.

Read More

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Russian crew returns from shooting the first feature film on the ISS – Yahoo Movies Canada

Published

 on


Shooting for the first feature-length movie in space has wrapped. Space.com reports Russian actress Yulia Pereslid, producer Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy have returned to Earth after the first two spent 12 days filming their movie The Challenge aboard the International Space Station. The three left the ISS in a Soyuz spacecraft at 9:14PM Eastern on October 16th and landed in Kazakhstan just a few hours later, at 12:35AM.

Pereslid and Shipenko arrived on October 5th through an agreement between the Russian space agency Roscosmos, the TV network Channel One and the production studio Yellow, Black and White. Novitskiy had been there since April 9th as part of his regular duties, although he also played a key role — the movie has Pereslid play a surgeon who makes an emergency visit to the ISS to operate on the cosmonaut.

The filming required significant sacrifices for some of the ISS crew. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov were originally slated to return aboard the Soyuz capsule, but both have had their stays extended by six months to accommodate the film producers. Vande Hei will set a record for the longest spaceflight by a US astronaut as a result, spending exactly one year in orbit. Pereslid also broke ground as the first professional actor to visit space, beating William Shatner by roughly a week.

It will be a while before The Challenge is ready to watch, and it’s safe to say the production is aimed primarily at a Russian audience. It’s a major milestone for private uses of space, though, and hints at a future when Tom Cruise and other stars are frequently blasting off to produce shows in orbit.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Russian actor, director arrive back on earth from ISS – Euronews

Published

 on


A Soyuz space capsule carrying a cosmonaut and two Russian filmmakers has returned to Earth after leaving the International Space Station (ISS) earlier on Sunday.

The capsule landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan carrying Russian actor Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko, who returned to Earth after filming scenes for the world’s first movie in orbit – a project the Kremlin said would help burnish the nation’s space glory.

Peresild and Shipenko rocketed into orbit in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on October 5 for a 12-day stint on the station to film segments of the movie titled “Challenge,” in which a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to save a crew member who needs an urgent operation in orbit.

The pair returned to Earth on Sunday with another Russian cosmonaut, Oleg Novitskiy, who also stars as the ailing cosmonaut in the movie.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

VIDEO: NASA’s asteroid hunter Lucy soars into sky with diamonds – Abbotsford News

Published

 on


A NASA spacecraft named Lucy rocketed into the sky with diamonds Saturday morning on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids.

Seven of the mysterious space rocks are among swarms of asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit, thought to be the pristine leftovers of planetary formation.

An Atlas V rocket blasted off before dawn, sending Lucy on a roundabout journey spanning nearly 4 billion miles (6.3 billion kilometers). Researchers grew emotional describing the successful launch — lead scientist Hal Levison said it was like witnessing the birth of a child. “Go Lucy!” he urged.

Lucy is named after the 3.2 million-year-old skeletal remains of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia nearly a half-century ago. That discovery got its name from the 1967 Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” prompting NASA to send the spacecraft soaring with band members’ lyrics and other luminaries’ words of wisdom imprinted on a plaque. The spacecraft also carried a disc made of lab-grown diamonds for one of its science instruments.

In a prerecorded video for NASA, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid tribute to his late colleague John Lennon, credited for writing the song that inspired all this.

“I’m so excited — Lucy is going back in the sky with diamonds. Johnny will love that,” Starr said. “Anyway, if you meet anyone up there, Lucy, give them peace and love from me.”

The paleoanthropologist behind the fossil Lucy discovery, Donald Johanson, had goose bumps watching Lucy soar — “I will never look at Jupiter the same … absolutely mind-expanding.” He said he was filled with wonder about this “intersection of our past, our present and our future.”

“That a human ancestor who lived so long ago stimulated a mission which promises to add valuable information about the formation of our solar system is incredibly exciting,” said Johanson, of Arizona State University, who traveled to Cape Canaveral for his first rocket launch.

Lucy’s $981 million mission is the first to aim for Jupiter’s so-called Trojan entourage: thousands — if not millions — of asteroids that share the gas giant’s expansive orbit around the sun. Some of the Trojan asteroids precede Jupiter in its orbit, while others trail it.

Despite their orbits, the Trojans are far from the planet and mostly scattered far from each other. So there’s essentially zero chance of Lucy getting clobbered by one as it swoops past its targets, said Levison of Southwest Research Institute, the mission’s principal scientist.

Lucy will swing past Earth next October and again in 2024 to get enough gravitational oomph to make it all the way out to Jupiter’s orbit. On the way there, the spacecraft will zip past asteroid Donaldjohanson between Mars and Jupiter. The aptly named rock will serve as a 2025 warm-up act for the science instruments.

Drawing power from two huge circular solar wings, Lucy will chase down five asteroids in the leading pack of Trojans in the late 2020s. The spacecraft will then zoom back toward Earth for another gravity assist in 2030. That will send Lucy back out to the trailing Trojan cluster, where it will zip past the final two targets in 2033 for a record-setting eight asteroids visited in a single mission.

It’s a complicated, circuitous path that had NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, shaking his head at first. “You’ve got to be kidding. This is possible?” he recalled asking.

Lucy will pass within 600 miles (965 kilometers) of each target; the biggest one is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) across.

“Are there mountains? Valleys? Pits? Mesas? Who knows? I’m sure we’re going to be surprised,” said Johns Hopkins University’s Hal Weaver, who’s in charge of Lucy’s black-and-white camera. “But we can hardly wait to see what … images will reveal about these fossils from the formation of the solar system.”

NASA plans to launch another mission next month to test whether humans might be able to alter an asteroid’s orbit — practice in case Earth ever has a killer rock headed this way.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

NASASpace

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending