The first flight of the new spacecraft by NASA could be manned and around the moon


2017-02-22 15:30:08




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The space Agency NASA is considering a manned flight around the moon in the first joint launch of new carrier rocket Space Launch System (SLS) and the spacecraft «Orion» on-Board is planned for late 2018. It should be noted that most of the first launches of its manned spacecraft, NASA has conducted unmanned (or a maximum of attracting animals). Perhaps the last risky first launch with a live crew, was the start of the space Shuttle "Columbia" with two people on Board in 1981.

Despite the fact that this will be the first joint launch of Orion and SLS, the desire to make it a manned't really look like much of a reckless idea. The fact that the capsule "Orion" were several unmanned tests, the latter of which took place in 2015. Booster SLS, in turn, built on the basis of already proven technologies that are used in the main engines of the space Shuttle. NASA is generally very responsible approach to such things, and if the Agency believes that the selected technology is able to provide the necessary level of safety for the astronauts in the first manned flight, it likely is actually.

In the very same mission, called "exploration mission 1" (EM-1), we have managed to make a number of edits and changes. Initially it was planned to send unmanned spacecraft "Orion" to the moon, but later a change was introduced according to which it is allowed to send spacecraft and lunar retrograde orbit. In this case, the conditions of the mission the maximum would be consistent with the other missions are planned in the relatively near future – the conclusion of the manned spacecraft to orbit an asteroid and the subsequent landing on him.

But under the new proposal, the General parameters of the mission will continue, but can be added to the crew. The exact number of members not reported, but we know that Orion is able to bring on Board up to 6 people. Portal Gizmodo makes the assumption that the cosmos will travel to four people. In this case, the crew will be the largest ever flown to orbit the moon.

It is Expected that the total mission time is about three weeks, six days of which the spacecraft "Orion" will hold in lunar orbit. And this will be the most ambitious manned flight of the new device in the history of space travel. The last event of comparable magnitude occurred already in 1968, in the framework of the mission "Apollo-8", when the lunar orbit sent just three people. This flight was a kind of preparation for landing on the lunar surface as part of the mission "Apollo-11". Interestingly, one of the crew members of the mission, astronaut James Lovell later flew in the crew of the long-suffering "Apollo 13". Then the task of landing on the moon was absolutely impossible in the explosion of one of the fuel cells of the spacecraft. The incident forced the crew to abort the mission and return back to Earth.

However, before the opening of the possibility of a manned mission within the mission, EM-1, please conduct another very important test to check the suitability of the intermediate stage of the rocket (Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, ICPS), based on the second stage of the carrier rocket "Delta".

the Assembly of the spacecraft «Orion»

Originally of a rocket "Delta" was not intended and has never been used for manned launches, so before the actual use of one of its steps is necessary to conduct a test of its suitability. It was planned to hold in February last year, but in the end, "frozen". At the time the degree was seen as a temporary measure until it completed development of the core stage of SLS.

Of Course, we would like to attracted NASA astronauts for a mission EM-1. However, you should understand that nothing will happen until the space Agency is a hundred percent not confident in the security of conducting such a flight.


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