News JVTech The crazy characteristics of the giant rocket that is on its way to the Moon
Published on 17/11/2022 at 17:05
Even if Man set foot on the Moon in 1969, all this know-how has been somewhat lost over the decades. NASA has finally decided to take things in hand with the Artemis program, and its emblematic rocket: the Space Launch System.
A historic mission
It is no less than 50 years later that the most powerful rocket in the world, SLS, finally takes the direction of the Moon. It is this Wednesday, November 16, 2022 that the rocket took off in Florida, marking the start of NASA’s brand new program. The Artemis program is propelling the Orion capsule for this test, which has no astronauts on board around our natural satellite.
No landing planned for the rocket, it will only aim to orbit around the Moon, then return to our planet. The objective being above all to check its equipment and the various tools of the machine sports. In all, the Artemis 1 mission must last 25 days, in order to know if the same type of launcher would be able to transport much more material on board, and even humans.
The name Artemis was chosen in reference to Greek mythology, since it is the twin sister of Apollo (Apollo mission), but above all, Artemis is a goddess strongly associated with the Moon.
For the rest of the events, NASA aims to launch the Artemis 2 phase in 2024, which will carry astronauts on board. For once, the rocket will have to continue its orbit around the Moon, while the capsule will be placed in hovering all around.
Artemis 3 is aiming to land on the Moon and will potentially take off in 2025. The program may resemble that of Apollo 11, at the time. The astronauts will land at the south pole of the Moon, where ice formation has been detected, unlike Apollo which landed at the satellite’s equator.
A very busy program for NASA, which aims to launch a rocket to Mars after all these experiments.
Space Launch System: an exceptional rocket
Now let’s take a look at the exceptional launcher that will propel the mission into the skies. The Space Launch System (SLS), is a nugget of engineering and totally designed by NASA.
The SLS is literally the most powerful rocket in the world in the words of NASA. The Artemis program is targeting the Moon and this rocket plays an important role in this mission since it is necessary to be able to observe whether a launcher of the same type could support an even longer journey, to Mars for example.
The Space Launch System is what is called a heavy launcher, an extraordinary rocket that can send a payload of more than 50 tons into low Earth orbit, which is simply gigantic. We call the “payload” the transportable weight without taking into account the weight of the rocket and its equipment.
The SLS rocket was designed by NASA from the ground up, and its assembly took place at Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Remember that this is the same complex that allowed the creation of the emblematic space shuttles of the United States.
For the Artemis mission, the SLS consists of 4 main parts, including 2 floors. In addition to these stages, there are therefore two thrusters and 4 motors at the bottom of the central stage. Obviously, this composition is not set in stone and modifications will take place during the rest of the Artemis program.
This rocket is designed to send heavy equipment and astronauts to the Moon, the goal being above all to do a “crash-test” for a mission to Mars, which has not yet been dated.