Artemis Stuff

#1
Yazata Offline
Speaking of static fires, NASA has announced that they will be conducting the long awaited "hot fire" test of their SLS Moon rocket on Saturday January 16. The SLS is a monster so this will be something to see. I hope that they live-stream it.

https://twitter.com/NASA/status/1348777662974746628

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-...t-briefing

https://www.nasa.gov/artemisprogram/greenrun

NASA photo


[Image: ErfSIxOXMAEAlc3?format=jpg&name=medium]

[Image: ErfSIxOXMAEAlc3?format=jpg&name=medium]

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#2
C C Offline
Watching disposable, steam engine locomotives is still enjoyable in a retro context as long as they are big, powerful, and puffing smoke down the tracks.
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#3
Yazata Offline
There will be a live stream of the SLS hot-fire this Saturday at 4:20 PM EST (1:20 PM PST, 21:20 UTC) here.

https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

(Jan 12, 2021 08:03 AM)C C Wrote: Watching disposable, steam engine locomotives is still enjoyable in a retro context as long as they are big, powerful, and puffing smoke down the tracks.

SLS is a very big, impressive and capable rocket. It's exciting from an engineering and space-geek perspective.

Its (possibly fatal) defects are its out-of-this-world price tag and the fact that it isn't reusable. If SpaceX's Starship actually works as advertised (not a sure thing by any means), it will put SLS out of business quickly. If Starship doesn't work out, SLS might survive longer. But even then I expect it to die a slow death, because it will be so expensive to operate.

Personally, I think that it still has a chance to return people to the Moon. But it will cost so much that like with Apollo, there won't be any follow up and continuing human presence on the Moon. So an Artemis Moon mission in my opinion is almost certain to just be a publicity stunt.

If anyone wants a continuing human presence on the Moon, if they want Moon bases, laboratories, mines and factories, so that when we look up at the Moon at night we see lights up there, it won't be SLS that makes that possible. It will have to be Starship or whatever Blue comes up with.

SpaceX has basically rewritten the textbook on space-travel. Today, it's hard to imagine anything exciting happening that doesn't use reusable rockets. SLS won't be able to compete if they have to throw one away each flight.
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#4
Yazata Offline
The SLS Green Run Hot Fire has been pushed forward an hour.

This will be the world's most powerful rocket when it rolls out, on the scale of the Saturn Moon rocket and the Starship's Superheavy. They plan to test fire it for a full duration run for close to 5 minutes! Very unlike those little one or two second Boca Chica fires. The world hasn't seen anything like this since the Apollo program. They plan to test throttling the engines up (to 109%!) and down. The engines will also wiggle a lot more than they will in flight, since they want to test out the thrust vector control with particular attention to how well the fuel and oxidizer connections respond to the engines moving.

Live coverage has started.

NASA Live


https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/21X5lGlDOfg

NASASpaceflight.com


https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/s1bkX9f52NI

The test stand at NASA Stennis (in Mississippi) is absolutely huge. It was built in the 1960's in order to test Saturn Moon rockets. It's back with a new Moon rocket.


[Image: TlAo6l-z?format=jpg&name=small]

[Image: TlAo6l-z?format=jpg&name=small]



From what they are saying on the net, they seem to be shooting for engine ignition at 3:55 PM CST.

Or maybe not... now they are saying "within an hour". There doesn't seem to be a T = 0 time, instead they will light it when they are ready. They are working down a very involved (and anal) checklist. Controllers being asked what is X set to? And the controller has to read off what it's set to.

They are in the terminal count, about 8 minutes away.

Edit: Good ignition. Engines ran for about 60 seconds. Then there was an "MCF on engine four" call (major component failure). All four engines immediately safely shut down. There isn't any visible damage but something happened that the computers didn't like. The vehicle is now in its automated safeing sequence with engines and fuel lines being purged.
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#5
Yazata Offline
Here's a report on what happened during the SLS hot fire. Mostly software it looks like. Test parameters were set very narrow for the test to protect the booster and the computers appear to have behaved as they should and shut the test down even though it really wasn't necessary. If it was an actual flight the parameters would be looser since an in-flight abort means loss of vehicle while in a static fire an abort prevents loss of vehicle.

They have inspected the SLS booster and it looks fine.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2021/01/1...condition/
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#6
C C Offline
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
That's good. Some of the headlines I saw seemed to be capitalizing on the incident to make SLS sound like the ultimate lemon rather than just a non-reusable dinosaur that's way behind schedule.
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#8
Yazata Offline
Sucessful full duration full thrust 8-minute long hot fire of the SLS main engines!

The next step is to ship the SLS core-stage to Cape Canaveral on a barge where it should arrive by the end of next month. Plan seems to be to launch this particular core stage with an Orion crew capsule in an uncrewed test flight around the Moon called Artemis 1, late this year or more probably early next year. Artemis 2 is planned for August 2023 but will almost certainly slip and will send an Orion capsule with a crew of four around the Moon and back, without a landing.

The plan is still officially to fly Artemis 3 in October 2024 for the first human landing, but nobody anywhere believes it will happen in 2024. Everyone seems to think that 2024 is too aggressive, but it's a launch cadence of less than one flight a year. Of course they still need a lunar lander, but they managed to build a hugely successful one in the 1960's and could again if they were truly motivated. They and their supporters would stoutly deny it, but they are struggling mightily to duplicate what the generation before them accomplished in just a few glorious years. That's a far cry from actually trying to accomplish something bigger and better.

I have a bad feeling about Artemis... it has 'boondoggle' written all over it. If they keep pushing its date back, they will probably just end up cancelling it. At best it will be merely a stunt, one or two landings largely to get a woman up there, but not the lasting lunar presence that Bridenstine was promising just last year. There isn't any way they could support a scientific station on the Moon with less than one flight a year. And no way to increase the pace when SLS costs so incredibly much and there are competing priorities with louder constituencies. So instead of being something inspiring, Artemis already has a smell of failure.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/stat...9825328133
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#9
Yazata Offline
The Artemis 1 stack is taking shape in the Vertical Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral. This is the first SLS and it's scheduled to fly an Orion capsule on an un-crewed flight around the Moon and back towards the end of this year. Artemis 2 is planned to fly a crew of four humans around the Moon. Then Artemis 3 is supposed to meet up with the Human Landing System lander (looks like it will be a Starship lunar variant) in Lunar orbit and plop two humans down on the Moon in 2024 (ideally). See the group of people on the platform about 60% of the way up for scale. (It's big.) There's still a second stage and the payload parts that go on top of this. The brownish color is the same spray-on foam insulation that they used on the Space Shuttle external fuel tank.

nasa photo


[Image: E3sxqZtWUAMFobr?format=jpg&name=large]

[Image: E3sxqZtWUAMFobr?format=jpg&name=large]

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