Nasa aims to return astronauts to the moon in the 2020, in conjunction with spacex and a few other contractors through a project called the artemis program. Spacex is deeply involved in the artemis mission and plays a significant part in it. So lets look at why nasa chose spacex as the only contractor for the artemis missions, human landing system in april 2021., the 2.9 billion contract means that nasa will use spacexs highly anticipated. Starship system to land humans on the moon, but execution has only just begun due to two delays, both of which have one thing in common blue origin. First, spacexs competitors for the hls contract, blue origin and dinetics submitted official protests with the government accountability office, which were later overturned. The impasse is projected to last until at least the beginning of november 2021, after which a blue origin filed a lawsuit against nasa. The delays may be annoying, but neither blue origin nor jeff, bezos legal assault will be able to change what irritates them. The most. The fact that spacex is the backbone of this lunar mission, the starship hls version – is still in development, but multiple reports suggest that the landing spacecraft will not have a heat shield, because the moon has no significant atmosphere. The hls starship is based on spacexs raptor engines. Falcon and dragon vehicles – and it boasts a spacious, cabin and two airlocks for moon moonwalks, which will be a lot easier than theyve ever been thanks to elon.
But more on that later the hls borrows some aspects from spacexs raptor engines falcon and dragon vehicles, and it boasts a spacious, cabin and two airlocks. The starship will develop into a completely reusable launch and landing mechanism for trips to the moon, mars and other far flung destinations spacex as much as jeff bezos may argue, is critical to the artemis program, but it isnt exactly the center of attention nasa and its commercial Partners, including lockheed martin boeing and northrop grumman, have a lot to offer. Take, for example, nasas space launch system rocket, which is designed to transport personnel and cargo deep into the solar system. The vessel was first revealed in september 2011 during president barack obamas administration when nasa was eyeing a variety of locations for future human missions, including mars, and an asteroid near earth following various delays and development issues in late 2020 and early 2021. Sls is presently on track to launch its first flight artemis, one in december 2021, when it will launch an orion spacecraft on a loop around the moon. The sls will be available in a variety of configurations, with the astronaut launching lunar version expected to be 321 feet. Tall block one block 1b and block 2 are the three primary phases of rocket development each having different capabilities, mostly in the higher stages boeing, which was awarded a 2.8 billion dollar contract for the work in 2014, will build the core stage of all models to lift Sls into space, the core stage contains four liquid propellant engines and two solid rocket boosters.
The artemis mission includes not just starship and sls spacecraft, but also lockheed martins, orion, fun fact. Orions development history predates project artemis in 2006, nasa selected lockheed martin to manufacture the vehicle under a contract worth up to 8.15 billion dollars. Orion was created for president george, w bushs constellation initiative which aimed to send humans to the moon and mars. In 2010, the show was cancelled, but the craft was not in 2011, nasa resurrected, orion with a modified system design, claiming that the architecture could be adaptable for the exploration of new and more flexible destinations, indicating that the decision had already been taken. The spaceship of choice for project artemis was to be orion. To date. Orion has only conducted one test: flight, a high earth orbiting mission known as exploration, flight test 1 or eft 1, which took place on december 5th. 2014. sls development problems have pushed back. The capsules scheduled second flight numerous times since 2017., the craft like the apollo command module before it is 16.5 feet in diameter and can transport four astronauts. According to nasa, a crew module and a service module containing key spacecraft systems for oxygen regeneration, electricity and fuel will be included in orion artemis. One is orions next planned voyage and it will transport experiments, cubasats and human test articles around the moon to investigate the effects of space flight on future astronauts. Artemis 1 is set to launch in late 2021 and we cant wait to observe orion in space for the first time.
Every mission, including one to the moon, requires a base of operations. Since then, weve learned a lot more in 2017, one of the earliest hints of a deep space gateway orbiting. The moon was made. The notion for a lunar orbit facility was put into early artemis program designs as a way station for astronauts heading for the lunar surface. In 2020, gateway was removed from the crucial path of the first lunar landing anticipated for 2024. However, it is still one of nasas proposed replacements to the international space station gateway, wont be permanently occupied, but like the iss, it will represent an international partnership. The gateway space station will rely largely on collaboration and a power and propulsion module manufactured by maxar is one of its proposed components: northrop grumans outpost for habitation and logistics, tails, elenia developed the esprit system, which provides refueling infrastructure and communications tails elenia also produced the international Habitation module, as well as the canada arm 3 robotic arm. Mda was in charge of the construction. Spacex will send a falcon heavy rocket to deliver the first two segments of the lunar orbit station. According to a statement released by nasa in early 2021. Its worth mentioning that the gateway design is still changing and nasa may add more parts to it in the future. Cargo tugs are also mentioned in several blueprints for the lunar gateway. However, no concrete plans to build them exist at this time gateway. Cargo tugs are designed to cut the cost of lunar missions by transporting logistics modules with supplies on board between the earth and the moon.
The tugs would travel between earth and the moon on multiple missions and would require a space based refueling station. Although a lunar station orbiting, the moon is cool, you already know that a lunar base on the moons surface is the way to go and nasa agrees, because it unveiled plans for its artemis base camp near shackleton crater in 2020, its safe to assume that the location Selection as exact as it was, was not made at random in 2012, scientists examining the shackleton crater at the lunar south pole discovered abundant sources of water frozen into the lunar surface in the area. Although such water might theoretically be divided into its hydrogen and oxygen components for rocket fuel or astronaut air supply, the technology to convert water to fuel is still in its early stages. A water electrofusion device will be tested in space by one of the cubasats that will travel around the moon with nasas sls. The envision artemis base camp will require supplies for water waste disposal, communications, landing vehicles and radiation, shielding as it matures and flourishes according to nasa. Two mobility systems, a lunar terrain, vehicle for astronaut, surface movement and a livable mobility platform that can support journeys away from base for up to 45 days will be included in the base. Artemis base camp might potentially help with research dealing with the nagging lunar dust as well as a far side, radio telescope. Of course, the astronauts will have to be suited up for the most of the artemis trip, so someone has to design and manufacture the spacesuits youd.
Think nasa could handle it, but dont count on it. Nasa used a spacesuit on the moons surface for the last time in 1972, which was decades ago, the current generation of space station suits isnt much better partially, since it was introduced in 1981 and partly because it isnt designed for lunar conditions, nasa showcased, two spacesuit prototypes For artemis in 2019, as she deservedly sought an upgrade the x emu exploration, extravehicular mobility unit is a red white and blue suit meant to be worn by astronauts on lunar surface missions. The orion crew survival system is a bright orange pressure suit that astronauts will wear in the orion capsule, as well as when they launch into space and return to earth. In august 2021, nasas inspector general cited a 20 month delay in x, emu development as the reason for missing the 2024 target for using the suits on the moon. According to the same report, the xcmu spacesuits will not be ready until at least april 2025.. Fortunately, for nasa, a highly skilled guy by the name of elon musk sent out a tweet, suggesting that spacex could step in to help underfunding, covet effects and technological issues caused delays in the creation of the artemis lunar spacesuits. According to this assessment, elon also revealed that the suits components are supplied by 27 different companies. As pointed up by cnbc space, correspondent, michael sheets nasa announced in july that it would welcome business partnerships to improve space suit technology and spur innovation in the space sector.
This means that elon musks offer for spacex to build the suits could be feasible. So what do you think guys? Can a lot and nasa be successful together or they have to part their ways in future? Tell us in the comments section and if you want to see another video on heat shield, design update by spacex, then click on the video floating right side on the screen.