The first Artemis mission has proven to be a huge success, despite some issues with the heat shield upon reentry. With all that in mind, NASA announced that it is still targeting November 2024 to launch the first crewed Artemis mission.
Artemis II, which is set to launch sometime in November 2024, will see the Orion space capsule taking a crew of four around the Moon. The mission will test the overall capabilities of the astronauts and the spacecraft together. This mission will be the first Artemis crewed mission, and the precursor for NASA placing human boots on the Moon’s surface.
NASA successfully launched the uncrewed Artemis Mission in November 2022, after many delays. While the mission was very touch-and-go in the lead-up, the Space Launch System held its own in flight and safely delivered the Orion capsule to space, where it continued its journey around the Moon. With that important data cataloged, NASA is already banking on the first crewed Artemis mission in the next 18 months.
Since Artemis II is expected to launch in 2024, and it actually does so are two completely different things. There are some things that NASA wants to work out – like the fact that more of the material on Orion burned up in re-entry despite the heat shield’s design. The amount of material burned up was surprising to NASA, so it will need to sort that out before the first crewed Artemis mission can launch.
NASA is already working to better equip the Orion capsule for re-entry burnup to ensure that the human occupants inside are safe and sound when the spacecraft plummets back into Earth’s atmosphere at the end of its mission. Space watchers are aware that delays can occur, despite plans for the launch of the first crewed Artemis mission this November.
If NASA continues to see similar issues as they did with the original Artemis mission, we could likely see the launch pushed back. We can only wait to appreciate the stunning views on the Moon provided by Artemis I during its orbit around the lunar satellite.
The post NASA targeting Thanksgiving 2024 for Artemis II launch appeared first on BGR.