Nasa Rolls Out New Moon Rocket Launch

USA Nasa New Moon Rocket Launch

US Space Agency Nasa Rolls Out New Moon Rocket Launch

The American space agency is deploying its new giant Moon rocket for the first time. The vehicle, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), is brought to the Kennedy Space Center platform in Florida to perform a fictitious countdown. If it goes well, the rocket will be declared ready for a mission during which it will send an uncrewed test capsule around the Moon. it is hoped that astronauts will board subsequent SLS rockets to return to the surface of the Moon in the second half of this decade. SLS is a colossus. Just under 100m tall, it was designed to be more powerful than the Apollo Saturn vehicles of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It will aim not only to send astronauts far beyond from Earth, but also so much equipment and cargo that these crews could stay away for long periods of time. Thursday's rollout from Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is the start of the rocket in the sense that it's the very first time anyone has gotten to see all of its various elements fully stacked. The first deployment of the VAB - this is truly an iconic moment for this vehicle, said Tom Whitmeyer, NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development. Being here for a new generation of an exploration-class super-heavy-duty vehicle is a day to remember. It is attached to a support gantry called Mobile Launcher. This structure, which itself is 120m high and weighs 5,000 tons, sits on the same gigantic tractor that was used to move the Saturn Vs at the time, and later the space shuttles. The Crawler Transporter goes very slowly, with a cruising speed of just over 1 km/h (less than 1 mph), so it will take many hours to reach the pad, especially since the engineers plan to stop and start the tractor to check that everything is as it should be. to be. Once installed at pad 39B, the SLS will be prepared for a "wetsuit rehearsal", likely to take place on April 3. This will see the rocket loaded with propellants and put on a practice countdown to just 9.4 seconds before lift-off time. The "scrubbing" point is just before they normally fire up the four large shuttle-era engines under the rocket. This mission, part of what Nasa calls its Artemis program, will propel the rocket's Orion crew capsule on a 26-day journey that includes an expanded orbit around the Moon. There will be no one in the capsule for the test flight. This should happen on a second mission in a few years. As NASA develops the SLS, American rocket entrepreneur Elon Musk is preparing an even bigger vehicle at his R&D center in Texas. He calls his giant rocket the Starship. Unlike SLS, Starship was designed to be completely reusable and should therefore be considerably cheaper to operate. A recent assessment by the Office of Inspector General, which audits Nasa programs, found that the first four SLS missions would each cost more than $4 billion to execute - a sum of money described as unsustainable.