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  • Between 1968 and 1972, America launched 9 human missions to the Moon, 6 of which successfully

  • touched down, allowing 12 men to walk on the lunar surface.

  • NASA's next chapter of lunar exploration, called Artemis, has the task of not just going

  • to the Moon, to create a long-term human presence on and around it, but also to prepare for

  • ever-more-complex human missions to Mars.

  • In short, everything we must be able to do here, we must first do here.

  • So, what will an Artemis mission look like?

  • Everything is designed and tested with our most important element in mind: the astronauts.

  • This is their deep space, human-rated spacecraft called Orion, built in 3 parts: the crew module,

  • where up to 4 astronauts will live and work throughout the flight; the service module,

  • with life support systems for the crew and its own engine and fuel reserves; and a launch

  • abort system, with engines capable of pulling the crew module to safety during launch, should

  • anything go wrong.

  • To accomplish the task of launching our crew and heavy payloads, NASA is building the Space

  • Launch System, comprising of a cargo hold, an Exploration Upper Stage, a massive core

  • stage and 2 extended solid rocket boosters.

  • All together, this is the world's most powerful rocket.

  • And it exceeds the legendary Saturn V of the Apollo era in numerous ways.

  • Sitting on the launch pad, the entire rocket, fully fueled, weighs just over 6 million pounds,

  • 5.2 million of which is just the fuel.

  • Once ignited, there is no stopping what comes next.

  • All 4 RS-25 engines and the 2 solid rocket boosters come to life, thundering our crew

  • upwards.

  • Two minutes after ignition, the solid rocket boosters are spent and released.

  • Eight minutes after launch, the core stage is depleted and separated.

  • The upper stage fires briefly, placing Orion into a parking orbit around the Earth.

  • Here, the crew reconfigure the spacecraft and check systems to confirm everything is

  • ready for deep space travel.

  • With a "go" from Mission Control, the crew reignite the Exploration Upper Stage engines

  • to leave Earth entirely.The exact timing of this maneuever is critical to reach a speed

  • that can escape Earth's gravitational pull, but also put Orion on a course that will intersect

  • the Moon days later.

  • Once this burn is complete, the upper stage of the SLS is jettisoned and the crew on board

  • Orion coast for several days toward all that awaits them at the Moon.

  • Approaching the Moon, we see the fundamental differences between Artemis and Apollo.

  • Instead of requiring Orion to serve as an expendable lunar command module or carry a

  • constrained lunar lander, the Artemis missions will take advantage of a different approach:

  • pre-staging.

  • Everything needed for lunar missions will be positioned in advance by commercial and

  • international partners.

  • This includes rovers, science experiments and human-rated systems on the surface.

  • But it also includes a dedicated lunar station in orbit around the Moon, called Gateway.

  • Here at the station, we can pre-stage a robust lunar lander and establish a strong communications

  • relay.

  • Designed with open standards, the Gateway can be expanded as new missions and partnerships

  • develop, allowing multiple human missions on the Moon at the same time, and enabling

  • ongoing science to be conducted even between human missions.

  • The Gateway is also capable of adjusting its orbit to allow access to every part of the

  • Moon, something the Apollo missions could not do.

  • But the real key in this approach is placing Gateway in a unique halo orbit to perfect

  • the maneuvers needed for Mars missions.

  • And, with a growing list of commercial and international opportunities, Gateway is the

  • ideal hub between Earth and all that lies beyond.

  • Returning to our crew as they approach Gateway, the Orion must match the elliptical orbit

  • of the station in order to successfully dock.

  • Once on board, preselected crew members transfer to the lunar lander while those assigned to

  • Gateway remain on station.

  • The lunar lander system itself is built for 3 unique steps: descending from the halo orbit

  • of Gateway down to a low lunar orbit; descending from low lunar orbit to the surface; and once

  • the lunar mission is complete, launching from the surface of the Moon and ascending all

  • the way back to the orbiting Gateway.

  • Once back aboard the Orion spacecraft and undocked from Gateway, the crew fire their

  • engines to break out of the halo orbit and once again to sling the spacecraft around

  • the Moon, placing it on a multi-day trajectory back towards Earth.

  • As they near the end of this journey, the service module is released and the crew module

  • is oriented heat shield-first.

  • Entering Earth's atmosphere at 25,000 miles per hour, the friction of air slows Orion

  • considerably, while also subjecting it to temperatures of 5,000 degrees.

  • With the Orion now at just 300 miles per hour, a series of parachutes uniquely tested and

  • produced for this moment deploy, decelerating the craft to just 20 miles per hour for splashdown.

  • With each successful mission, Artemis ushers in the next wave of men and women to explore

  • our Moon.

  • And proves that together, we're ready to go beyond.

Between 1968 and 1972, America launched 9 human missions to the Moon, 6 of which successfully

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How We Are Going to the Moon - 4K

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    Jason Luo posted on 2019/12/25
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