NASA’s Artemis missions are some of the most exciting upcoming space missions that humanity has to look forward to. We still have a long way to go before humans set foot back on the Moon with Artemis III, but this month, SpaceX shared some good news after completing several tests on the Artemis moon lander’s engine.
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According to an announcement from NASA, SpaceX has now demonstrated that the engine aboard the Artemis III’s Starship HLS lander. The HLS, or Human Landing System, will allow humanity to safely land on the Moon and then take off again, similar to how the Apollo landers did the same for the original astronauts of the Moon missions.
These newest tests are so important because they have officially proven that the engines above the Artemis Moon lander will be able to activate in the extreme cold conditions resulting from extended time in space. Further, the tests prove that the engines will be capable of the burn needed to slow the lander so that it can land safely without impact.
The Raptor Engine, the engine used on the SpaceX HLS has proven to be able to burn successfully for as long as it takes in order control the powered descent phase. The engine has shown that it can change its level of power with time. This is extremely important when performing maneuvers this intense.
NASA has been working alongside SpaceX and others to develop the systems needed to make Artemis III and future missions to the Moon successful. It is important to ensure the safety of astronauts on Artemis III by ensuring that SpaceX’s Artemis Moon Lander engine can complete the tests in the expected manner.
With a system like the HLS in place, NASA and SpaceX will fundamentally change how we land on other cosmic entities, and perhaps that very same system – or an upgrade one – could one day help astronauts land on Mars. Hopefully, this means we’ll continue to see success going forward, as any delays to other SpaceX projects, like Starship, could also cause unintentional delays to NASA’s Artemis missions.
The post SpaceX has completed engine tests for the Artemis III Moon lander appeared first on BGR.