NASA Artemis Discussion

Artemis seems to have made it safely back to the VAB this morning. From about 90 minutes ago:


P.S. Bonus detail: someone was operating a forklift in the lower right of the image (peaceably, though).

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It is possible to operate a forklift without going on a killing rampage (so I’m told).

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It’s just… so tempting

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Going slightly off topic it was cool to see the DART probe hit the target yesterday.
I’m glad it wasn’t a last ditch attempt to save the earth from disaster.
It reminds me of some riff worthy movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact.
Are there any others?

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I’m never not impressed at how huge the VAB is. Like, it’s bigger than my whole house.

Seeing it dwarf the rocket/pad, which is itself huge, is amazing. It’s one of the biggest buildings in the world by volume, isn’t it?

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Yes, but it’s now down to seventh. Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Texas has about 2.5 times the volume of the VAB, and it’s still leagues behind Boeing’s Everett, Washington facility which encloses over thirteen million cubic meters.

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Does it have its own climate like Boeing’s factory?

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Interesting question. I’d guess that with Austin’s drier climate, interior condensation is less of a problem than it is in Everett. Or Florida, for that matter.

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No, I meant the VAB.

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I’ve heard it claimed, but never seen it corroborated. I’ve heard that fog drifts through from outside on occasion; the VAB isn’t airtight.

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Semi related - I’ve always been inspired by JFK’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech.
With all the (up and down) news about Artemis recently, I dusted off an old project and put the speech to music.

Not only can we be inspired by it, we can now dance to it :smiley:

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Teams Confirm No Damage to Flight Hardware, Focus on November for Launch

Sep 30, 2022 at 3:46 PM

Teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida conducted initial inspections Friday to assess potential impacts from Hurricane Ian. There was no damage to Artemis flight hardware, and facilities are in good shape with only minor water intrusion identified in a few locations. Next, engineers will extend access platforms around the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to prepare for additional inspections and start preparation for the next launch attempt, including retesting the flight termination system.

No launch attempt in October. The next opportunity for the “long” mission profile isn’t until November 27, so it will be interesting to see if NASA prioritizes a long test flight for Orion or getting Artemis I off the ground as soon as possible a couple of weeks earlier for a ”short“ mission.

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Inspections Underway for Rocket, Spacecraft Before Setting Launch Date

Oct 6, 2022 at 4:47 PM

Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are in the process of preparing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for the next launch attempt in November for the Artemis I mission. Check-outs conducted this week will allow NASA to finalize the work schedule before rolling SLS and Orion back to Launch Pad 39B.

Lots of batteries need to be recharged.

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NASA Sets Date for Next Launch Attempt for Artemis I Moon Mission

Oct 12, 2022 at 8:00 AM

NASA is targeting the next launch attempt of the Artemis I mission for Monday, Nov. 14 with liftoff of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft planned during a 69-minute launch window that opens at 12:07 a.m. EST. Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test to launch SLS and send Orion around the Moon and back to Earth to thoroughly test its system before flights with astronauts.

NASA doesn’t want to wait for the next “long” mission opportunity thirteen days later, apparently. Plus it’s a night launch, meaning NASA is foregoing recording the launch in the far better lighting of the day. And those stacked solid rocket boosters are long past their “best if flown by” date, so if Artemis I doesn’t fly soon there will be a long delay while they’re unstacked and the motor segments examined and possibly replaced. Assuming there are replacements ready…

They want this thing off the ground ASAP.

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Teams On Track for Artemis I Rollout to Launch Pad

Oct 28, 2022 at 3:24 PM

Teams are on track to roll the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39B no earlier than Friday, Nov. 4 with first motion targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT.

Here we go again.…

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New news for Artemis 4:

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Artemis IV is going nowhere unless the replacement Mobile Launch Platform is built first. The current one can’t handle SLS block 1B, much less block 2.

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NASA’s Mega Moon Rocket Begins Roll to Launch Pad

Nov 3, 2022 at 10:22 PM

The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I flight test are rolling to launch pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of launch. At about 11:17 p.m. EDT the crawler-transporter began the approximately 4-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the launch pad.

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic, you’ll probably go far…

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If Artemis I doesn’t get off the ground during this launch period, an extended delay before another attempt becomes more likely.

Ahead of NASA’s next attempt to launch the SLS and Orion spacecraft on the Artemis 1 test flight around the moon, NASA managers confirmed the lifespan of the solid rocket boosters is set to expire in December.

“When you stacked your first segment on the AFT segment, you start a clock. That was at originally 12 months, and it’s currently been analyzed up to 23 months,” said Cliff Lanham, KSC Ground System senior vehicle operations manager. "One piece expires on the 9th of December of this year, and the other one is the 14th of December of this year.”

Stacking of the SRBs began 23½ months ago. Sooner, rather than later, now, the seals between the segments must be replaced, plus the solid propellant itself can slump over time.

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NASA Prepares Rocket, Spacecraft Ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole, Re-targets Launch

Nov 8, 2022 at 4:47 PM

NASA is continuing to monitor Tropical Storm Nicole and has decided to re-target a launch for the Artemis I mission for Wednesday, Nov. 16, pending safe conditions for employees to return to work, as well as inspections after the storm has passed. Adjusting the target launch date will allow the workforce to tend to the needs of their families and homes, and provide sufficient logistical time to get back into launch status following the storm.

C’mon, just launch it through the hurricane’s eye and be done with it, already!

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