According to the plans, the second flight of the American lunar program, Artemis, will take off with a man on board in 2024, according to the American space agency (NASA) at the press conference on Tuesday, which evaluated the first flight of the Orion space capsule last year.
NASA program manager John Honeycutt said the results of Artemis’ first spaceflight are still being summed up, but the mission exceeded most expectations.
The space rocket (Space Launch System) of the American lunar program was launched with the Orion spacecraft unit in its nose cone last November from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after which the capsule separated from the carrier rocket and went into orbit around the moon, and after 25 days it fell into the Pacific Ocean in mid-December. off the Earth. The spacecraft carried a number of experimental equipment, including Hungarian-developed measuring equipment, to investigate the effects on the crew on board the vehicle.
At the press conference, Howard Hu, director of the Orion spacecraft program, recalled that during the three-week unmanned flight, the space capsule came within 13 kilometers of the Moon’s surface, and set a record for going around the Moon more than ever before. moved to a greater distance from Earth.
The official said that several lessons have already been learned from the test strip, among which he mentioned that the outer heat shield of the space capsule charred to a greater extent than expected, as a result of the extraordinary 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 Celsius) heat effect.
Among the experiences, he also mentioned that the launch caused more damage than expected in the launch pad, and the lift of the launch tower was also destroyed. Specialists are now working on eliminating the errors, reported the specialist leading the spacecraft program.
The Artemis program is a long-planned program of the US space agency that would once again send humans to the moon. The long-term goal is to create a permanent lunar station, which can help humans reach Mars.
NASA plans the Artemis 2 mission for November 2024, when it would carry four astronauts into lunar orbit with the Orion spacecraft in the rocket’s nose cone, on a planned 10-day journey.
During the next stage of the program, Artemis 3, humans could once again set foot on the moon.
Main image: Planet Earth as seen from the Moon