After NASA completed its Artemis 1 uncrewed mission to the moon in December 2022, the space agency is already working towards its crewed Artemis 2 mission to the lunar orbit. The agency is looking at launching astronauts during its Artemis 2 mission to the moon as soon as 2024. NASA is planning to use a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for this mission. On March 21, NASA announced on its website the progress it had made so far in nearly completing the core stage of the Artemis 2 rocket.
The official announcement reveals that the core stage is currently fully assembled. However, its four RS-25 engines are yet to be installed on the mega-rocket. But NASA engineers will surely install these engines anytime soon. But how are NASA engineers working to complete the assembly of this megarocket? Continue reading to find out.
How NASA Engineers are working to complete the assembly of the Artemis 2 rocket
Several teams of NASA engineers and scientists are working together at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans for the assembly of the Artemis 2 rocket. NASA’s recent update reveals that the teams have fully installed all five major structures of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage. This megarocket will carry the first crew to the moon for NASA’s Artemis space program.
The agency is hoping to send four astronauts around the moon and safely return them home during the Artemis II mission. Hence, several testing and considerations needed to be put in place during the assembly of this rocket. NASA revealed in its update that Technicians joined the engine section to complete the rest of the rocket’s stage on March 17.
Since the assembly of the rocket core stage is almost complete, the team will install the four RS-25 engines to the engine section to complete the assembly of this stage. The engine section is located at the bottom of the 212-foot-tall core stage. NASA reveals that this section is the most complex part of the rocket stage as it helps to boost the Artemis missions to the moon.
The engine section has hundreds of sensors, miles of cabling, and other powerful technologies that help NASA meet its launching needs. In addition to housing the RS-25 engines, the engine section also provides an attachment point for two solid rocket booster that generates a combined 8.8 million pounds of
thrust during liftoff. This section also houses crucial systems for controlling, mounting, and delivering fuel from propellant tanks to the engines. Hence, NASA engineers will spend more time assembling this section and ensure that they avoid mistakes.
What you should know about Artemis 2 mission
NASA commenced with the Artemis space program to establish a permanent human presence on the moon. The agency has already accomplished its Artemis 1 uncrewed mission last year. NASA is hoping to launch four astronauts around the moon in 2024 during its Artemis 2 mission.
Since the Artemis 2 spacecraft will carry astronauts aboard, NASA is working on assembling a safe-to-use space vehicle that will safely return the crew to Earth after the mission. NASA Engineers, Technicians, and scientists are collaborating at Michoud to build and assemble a sophisticated rocket that will meet the demands of Artemis II missions. With the progress made so far, NASA will surely meet its goals of accomplishing the Artemis II mission in 2024.
The space agency is hoping to land the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the moon during its Artemis III mission in 2025. This future mission will pave the way for the establishment of a permanent human presence on the moon and also serve as a stepping stone to sending humans to Mars.
On April 3, NASA plans to name the three American and one Canadian astronaut that will fly around the moon during Artemis 2 mission in 2024. This will be the first time humans will reach the lunar orbit since Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Hence, it will be an interesting space mission to watch after years of waiting.
NASA is already working on completing the assembly of its Artemis 2 mission. After the integration of the engine, the main stage of the rocket will be fully completed. Artemis 2 astronauts will reach the moon aboard this powerful rocket in 2024. What do you think about this rocket assembly?