NASA begins countdown to moon return

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Everything is practically ready for the long-awaited launch of the North American Space Agency’s (NASA) Artemis I Mission, scheduled for today (29) directly from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

What still worries technicians and engineers of the mission that intends to return to the moon is the weather conditions, since lightning was recorded this weekend and there is a probability of sparse rains.

Even so, according to a NASA statement on Sunday (28), favorable weather conditions for the launch of the Space Lauch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion capsule this Monday are 80%.

The agency’s meteorology teams note, however, that this maximum probability of favorable weather (80%) refers to the first two hours of the launch window, which starts at 8:33 am (9:33 am GMT).

This is the first action of the Artemis program, which aims to bring a manned flight to Earth’s natural satellite in the coming years. And more, to take the first woman to the lunar soil.

In addition, the mission aims to expand operations in the solar system: to build a permanent, sustainable lunar base and to make the moon a point of support for projects on the neighboring planet, Mars.

conquest of space

Today’s unmanned trip marks a series of tests in the Moon’s orbit, both in terms of equipment and the Orion capsule, which is expected to carry up to four astronauts in the second stage of the mission, scheduled to take place until 2026.

In addition, a fundamental part of the mission will be tested, the European Service Module, responsible, for example, for the water supply, energy, propulsion, temperature control inside the capsule and the result of the partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA ).

According to ESA, the mission, which will be commanded here from Earth, could last between 20 and 40 days and will end up back on land with a dip in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of California, in the United States.

The return flight to the Moon, organized by NASA in partnership with 21 countries, including Brazil, represents the return to the satellite 50 years after the last manned trip, in 1972, with the Apollo mission.

The president of the Brazilian Space Agency, Carlos Moura, is among the guests for the launch of Artemis I directly from the Kennedy Space Center.

For the coordinator of Satellites and Applications of the Brazilian Space Agency, Rodrigo Leonardi, Artemis I is ”a historic milestone in the resumption of manned flights for space exploration. And the expectation is that by joining this program, Brazil can also open a new chapter in its dedicated space program,” he says.

He informed that the country has already been discussing with partner countries issues related to transport, habitability, operations, infrastructure and science within the scope of the Artemis program.

The AEB representative highlighted that the mission led by NASA was included among the initiatives of the National Space Activities Program, a document that establishes projects and priorities for the next decade.

For the Brazilian doctor and businesswoman in the space business, Thaís Russomano, the expectation for the countdown back to the Moon also leads to unfolding doors that may open with the new step in the space race.

“After 50 years, we began the process of returning to the Moon. The Artemis mission reopens the way to build the knowledge necessary for, one day, the human being to inhabit the earth’s natural satellite, transforming it into the second cosmic home”, he says.

The doctor, who lives in London, came to participate in research on the action of microgravity in the body of astronauts and even in two campaigns of parabolic flights (when it is possible to experience zero gravity without traveling to space) of the European Space Agency in 2000. and 2006.

other dates

According to space agencies, if the launch on Monday (29) is suspended, two more dates are possible: September 2 and 5.

The countdown can be followed on NASA’s YouTube channels, as well as on the agency’s website.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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