Title: NASA’s Artemis Program Makes Strides Despite Welding Issue
In yet another achievement for NASA’s Artemis program, all four core stage engines have been successfully installed onto the booster of the second Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The SLS rocket is a crucial component of NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon and establish a sustainable presence by 2024.
The installation of the engines onto Core Stage-2 is considered a major milestone in the Artemis program. Standing at an impressive 212 feet tall, the core stage comprises two liquid propellant tanks and four RS-25 engines. This significant progress brings NASA closer to its goal of launching the Artemis 2 mission, which aims to transport four astronauts on a 10-day mission around the Moon.
Meanwhile, production on the third core stage, named Artemis 3, has faced a temporary setback due to a welding issue. Engineers are diligently working to address the challenge, and a resolution is expected in the near future. Once completed, Core Stage-3 is scheduled for launch in late 2024 or early 2025.
Amidst these developments, the RS-25 rocket engines have recently undergone their inaugural certification test specifically for Artemis 5 and beyond. These tests at NASA’s Stennis Space Center have shown promising results, further propelling the Artemis program forward.
However, not all news surrounding the Artemis program is purely positive. The sustainability and affordability of the program have been brought into question by NASA’s inspector general. With an ambitious timeline and potential budgetary constraints, the concerns raised by the inspector general warrant careful consideration as the program moves ahead.
Before the completed Core Stage-2 is transported to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, engineers will conduct thorough assessments of its avionics and electrical systems. This meticulous review ensures all systems are functioning optimally and guarantees a successful launch.
Despite the welding challenge delaying the completion of the liquid oxygen tank for Core Stage-3, NASA remains determined to achieve its Artemis program objectives. With significant milestones and advancements already accomplished, the agency anticipates overcoming any hurdles and delivering on its promise of returning humans to the Moon. As the program progresses, stakeholders will continue closely monitoring its progress and addressing concerns to ensure a successful and sustainable space venture.
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