Let's start our discussion with what is Artemis, and it's mission?
NASA has named its mission Artemis (twin sister of apollo) to return to the moon through a series of Artemis missions. Just like Apollo missions, the main motive of Artemis missions is to explore space science and wanted to have a lunar base camp on the moon so that they can easily approach Mars.
|SLS(space launch system) Source: NASA|
We need a space vehicle to get there (moon) which needs tons of rocket power. SLS (Space Launch System) Vehicle is the America's rocket for deep space exploration, and it is one of the most powerful rocket as the world has ever seen. It has two solid rocket boosters which will provide more than 75% of the thrust necessary to leave earth.
We need another vehicle to travel in space that is spacecraft. Orion is a spacecraft which carries astronauts to space and also provides safe re-entry to earth after completion of their task in space. Orion is placed on top of the space launch system. It is a reusable spacecraft used in Artemis programme.
It is built in 3 parts:
- The service module.
- The crew module.
- Launch abort system.
The service module provides a life support system for the crew (astronauts) and its own engine and fuel reserves. The crew module is designed for 4 astronauts in which they will live and work throughout the flight and the launch abort system which is positioned at the top of Orion is designed to save the lives and provide safety and security to the crew when they are in emergency.
Did you know that the entire rocket (space launch system) which is fully fuelled and weighs 6 million pounds? Just the fuel weighs 5.2 million pounds out of 6 million pounds.
Artemis has the task of not just going to the moon, it creates long term human presence on and around it and prepare for human mission to Mars.
When space launch blasts off from Kennedy's launch pad 39B,Orion isn't the only thing it will be sending to space, along with that tiny, shoebox sized satellites called CubeSats that were loaded into the Orion stage adapter. These CubeSats travel into deep space to conduct science and research of their own and study a range of topics -from the moon to asteroids, to the effect of space radiation on living organisms.
Let us understand what lunar gateway means?
If we want to construct a new house far away from our living place, what we will do? Generally we will take rented house nearby for few months to stay, and we will complete the construction of our new house as soon as possible.
Just like this here, gateway acts like a rented house. To construct a base camp on the moon, we need a gateway. Gateway is a small space station in lunar orbit which helps to send astronauts to the moon through Orion spacecraft.
|Lunar gateway Source: NASA|
After returning from the moon Orion undock (undocking means separating from lunar gateway station)from the gateway and enters into earth atmosphere at 24500 miles per hour the heat shield protects, and the Orion reaches temperatures half hot as the sun but also slows Orion and finally with the help of Parachutes it will gently dip into the Pacific Ocean.
To the moon and safely home again, this is the journey of Artemis one, and it will set the precedent for all that follows.
Artemis-I - Uncrewed trip around the moon.
Artemis-II - Will follow a similar path, but with astronauts onboard.
Artemis-III - Astronauts land on the moon and will carry people to the moon surface.
Unlike apollo mission, Artemis mission provides the opportunity for the first woman and first person of colour to set foot on the moon, and it is a foundation for future trips to the moon.
Actually, the launch date of Artemis-I is August 29, but it is delayed due to hydrogen fuel leakage.What are your thoughts on Artemis Mission. Let me know down in the comments :)
Please do subscribe to our newsletter via mail to make sure you won't miss any of the future post written by one of the Vigyan Geeks like you.