The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its partners continue to implement the Artemis lunar program. As part of this effort, aerospace company SpaceX recently fire-tested one of the lunar module’s Raptor engines, simulating the frigid temperatures of space.
In this test, SpaceX tested the Raptor engine, which was optimized for long-term operation in space. NASA said the private company assessed the engine’s performance “through testing that verified that the engine can be started in the extremely cold conditions associated with long periods in space.”
Let’s remember that the American aerospace department signed a contract with Elon Musk’s company worth $2.89 billion. As part of this agreement, SpaceX must develop a landing module that will deliver astronauts to the surface of the Moon as part of the Artemis 3 mission planned for 2025. More One agreement between NASA and SpaceX, worth $1.15 billion, is for the Artemis 4 mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2028.
Unlike conventional ships, the SpaceX Starship lander will remain in space longer, which will lead to a decrease in the temperature of the equipment to a lower level. Last month, SpaceX conducted a second test that demonstrated the ability of the Raptor engines to operate on the lunar surface. Despite the successful testing of SpaceX’s engines, there are concerns that problems with Raptor could slow down NASA’s lunar program. Previously, the department announced that the Artemis 3 mission will most likely be postponed to 2026.
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