How will the return of an astronaut to the surface of the Moon go?

SpaceX is developing the Starship Human Landing System for NASA. But this lander will come to the test and during the first piloted attempt at the piston, which should take place during the mission Artemis III in 2025.

Fifty years since the last manhunt on Msc

In December 1972, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt walked the surface for the last time. Both were NASA astronauts and crewmembers of Apollo 17, which at the time was the pinnacle of the entire American lunar program. Since then, 50 years have passed, during which only automatons and robotic probes were devoted to exploring the Moon in situ.

It started to change slowly and at the beginning of the new millennium, when American President GW Bush announced the Constellation programwhich was supposed to restore the presence of people on the Moon by 2020. This program did not last very long and due to financial difficulties, it was terminated in 2010. From this program, only the Orion spacecraft flew for many years, and the original Ares V carrier was later replaced by a super-tough carrier Space Launch System (SLS). The mass activities of American astronautics were officially resumed in 2017, when the NASA program called Artemis was canceled.

The Artemis program is designed not only to return human beings to the Moon. Unlike the Apollo program, when people only visited the Moon, the aim of the Artemis program should be to establish a permanent and sustainable presence of people on the surface of the Moon. However, in order for NASA to be able to transport people to the Moon, it approached a number of companies that started preparing the necessary hardware for it.

Cooperation with other companies and companies

The development and production of the SLS carrier is initiated by the Boeing company, the Orion spacecraft is being prepared by the Lockheed Martin company, and the service module for this spacecraft is provided by the European Space Agency ESA. From the point of view of our link, the last essential element of the entire process is the human lander Human Landing System (HLS), which will be developed for NASA by the California company SpaceX on the basis of the Starship spacecraft.

However, in the Artemis program, there will be a launch module delivered by SpaceX, two launches of the SLS will take place. The first mission called Artemis I it was supposed to take place, but technical problems led to a postponement until the end of the year. In Russia, this unmanned mission will be the first test flight of the new SLS rocket and the second test flight of the Orion ship. After reaching the orbit, the ship will be guided on its way to the Moon, spending almost the entire moon in its space.

TO type mission of the Artemis program should happen in the middle of 2024 at the latest. It is a manned mission, the Orion spacecraft will only fly around the Moon on a free-return path, not enter its orbit and return to Earth. Throughout this mission, the crew will conduct tests of the Orion ship to test all the necessary components that will be needed for the Artemis mission.

The only untested component will be the HLS launch module developed by SpaceX. Its unmanned test may take place independently on the Artemis mission in 2024.

Clem this test will be conducted on the Moon, but the test itself will not require the Starship to be able to launch from the surface after the test. Self loan, if the launch of the ship from the surface is successful, it will only be a matter of time, but NASA does not necessarily require it. This means that the first full attempt to launch HLS from the surface of the Moon should theoretically occur during the Artemis III mission. by NASA you yourself characterize the HLS ship for an unmanned test as a skeleton, i.e. probably a kind of incomplete prototype, and do not assume that this ship will subsequently be used for the Artemis III mission with astronauts.

And the main goal of this mission is to test the HLS ship, NASA said couldn’t resist and an attempt to use this complexity to deliver scientific cargo to the surface of the Moon. It would be a shame not to use the transport capacity of the HLS, which should be able to transport 100 tons of cargo to the Moon. Pistvac region for this test, it will be located in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčanother wing, apparently outside of the locations that may be selected for the Artemis III mission, so that the environment for future scientific research cannot be contaminated in any way.

How will the piston on the moon work?

The first human landing on the moon during the Artemis III mission is officially a full-fledged end of 2025but relnj estimates speak spe about 2026. If the astronaut, who is not yet known, will embark on his journey aboard the ship Orion, it will be necessary to prepare the HLS lunar lander for him at both Moon stations. It will first touch down on both sides of the Earth and then make its way to the Moon under its own power, where it will wait. HLS and Orion first meet at the Mce station, where one man and one woman board it and, after being disconnected from the mother ship, go back to the other ship’s area.

The exact city of the launch has not yet been determined, although NASA announced at the end of August that it had pre-selected 13 cities where the launch could take place. More cities were chosen because it allows for more variability in the choice of launch window for the Artemis III mission. For those interested, there is also a video that together represents the selected area. All of them are located at a maximum distance of six degrees of latitude from another pool.

In addition to the flexibility of the launch window and scientific importance, other factors such as the slope of the terrain, the safety of the launch, the ease of communication with the Earth and the lighting conditions were also included in the selection of the launch sites. So that the pistvac area was suitable for Starship, SpaceX was also involved in the selection of locations. Each of the selected cities will offer a minimum of 6 and a half days of sunshine. This way, the crew will not be living in the dark and will be able to use solar panels instead. These are also areas from which the floor will be able to easily move to an area permanently protected from sunlight. The ability to take samples in a region untouched by the sun is a big attraction for NASA’s science team. Assuming the presence of water here, future explorers and settlers will certainly find a use for it.

After piston str male and female astronauts on the surface of the Moon spend a week dedicated to scientific observation and sample collection. During their stay, the 50 meter high HLS building will serve as their home warehouse. And when the time is up, the crew will launch from the surface of the Moon in HLS and maintain contact with the Orion mothership again. Then the end of the flight will be similar to the Apollo missions. Lo Orion and the astronauts will leave orbit, fly back to Earth and fall into the waves of praise.

At this point, you might ask yourself the question, what will happen to the HLS lunar lander, which will remain on the base? From NASA’s point of view, the lander must transport the crew back to orbit, meet its wheels and meet NASA’s requirements. Its fate will depend exclusively on the decision of SpaceX. You can take a cue from the past and wonder how the lunar modules performed after the Apollo missions. The module from the Apollo 10 mission was put into heliocentric orbit after the mission was completed, the module from Apollo 11 was left by the crew at the Moon station. The modules from the other space missions, with the exception of Apollo 13, which fell into the Earth’s atmosphere, ended their journey with a crash into the Moon. However, what will be the fate of the first piloted lunar module from the company SpaceX, that is for now in the stars.

It may not look like that at first glance, but a big thank you to SpaceX col, which he will have to perform. Therefore, it has not been decided how many refueling flights the Starships will have to make on both tracks in order to have enough fuel in the Earth-defending tanker to carry out the purpose of the Artemis III mission. The management of cryogenic propellants at both stations is also a big challenge. SpaceX has been working hand in hand with NASA for a long time to develop this new round. The development of the HLS lander thus continues for the time being. For example, in March 2022, NASA representatives they statedthat SpaceX has met all contractual milestones to date.

The same cooperation took place during the test lift, which will transport the crew of the HLS spaceship from the living space to the lunar surface and back. Public images revealed that the experimental model of the thruster for HLS is being tested in the space in front of the Boring Company’s experimental tunnel, which is located right across from the SpaceX factory in Hawthorne, California. It is understandable that he tries all possible and impossible situations. In addition, the lift itself is a relatively robust structure, but the cabin with people will be located several hundred meters above the surface, and a catastrophic failure could prevent the return of the crew back to the ship.

Dust, which is always visible on a small surface, has the unpleasant property of easily sticking to other surfaces and could seriously complicate the owner’s life. For this reason, the attraction itself was so warmed up very conservative. At this point, however, it is necessary to mention that humanity has to measure its experience with the properties of meat dust, which occurred in the areas of the Apollo missions. This dust has been processed by the sun for many years. The conditions that will prevail in the less illuminated areas of the mass fields are therefore still largely unknown.

As for future lunar missions, SpaceX is on the run this year received the contract put a manned HLS mission on one. It can be assumed that this is the first astronaut on the Moon as part of the Artemis V mission, which is expected to be completed in 2028. NASA is also he is preparing pdu for the candidates who are to offer their landers for the preparation of the Artemis mission.

The text was copied from the server ElonX. The editorial was edited a day ago. You can find the original here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.