NASA engineers added more Orion tests to mission (video)
Artemis 1 is almost home and NASA is already preparing for the next phases.
“Artemis 1 and Orion were phenomenal,” Nujoud Merancy, chief of the reconnaissance mission planning office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, told Space.com in a video interview. Orion was tasked with orbiting the Moon to collect data for future manned missions, which is why the mission is performing so well, with only minor disturbancesthat NASA felt comfortable adding more tasks to the manifesto.
“The whole point [and] The purpose of this mission was to validate that we designed the rocket and spacecraft well, and that it is exceeding expectations to the point that we were actually adding targets with Orion,” Merancy added.
The primary goal of the Artemis 1 mission is to complete the fast reentry and landing, which are so far on track for Sunday (Dec. 11). The mission also achieved other important objectives, such as testing unflown aircraft Space Launch System and fly in a distant retrograde orbit the moon to assess the readiness for human habitation of the Orion spacecraft.
More analysis will come after the splashdown to see how well Orion did, Merancy said. “All the data captured during the mission, the engineers and the teams will go through it to make sure it matches our predictions. That’s really the plan going forward.”
When artemis 2 flies around the moon with astronauts around 2024, it will be a test of Orion life support systems because those weren’t included in Artemis 1. The crew hasn’t been announced yet, but mission design has already been completed, Merancy said.
This is followed by the first manned moon landing, which is expected to be around 2025 Artemis 3which will begin a series of excursions to the moon’s south pole, along with NASA’s gate space station in orbit around the earth.
“There’s so much to do,” Merancy added of mission planning, but added that the Artemis team will take some time to celebrate Artemis 1’s success in landing.
“There will be a viewing party here at Johnson on Sunday to see it happen,” Merancy said. “I’m bringing the family and we’ll be here to celebrate like everyone else.”
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why am I taller (opens in new tab)(ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).
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