Project Artemis: Europeans set off with America to the moon

They were named Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt, but everyone forgot their names, and only Neil Armstrong’s name really impressed the collective memory. On that day in December 1972, he was the first, and they were the last, to set foot on this little gray moon that haunts our night. But it’s only a matter of time.

In late 2025, early 2026, humanity will return to the moon in Artemis III, his spacecraft parked on the rocket, and NASA completed its final test this Sunday. A month later, in early June at the latest, it will take off, the first of two rehearsals before the big return, where the European Space Agency is servicing several decisive elements of the astronaut transport system.

Mars, an orange sphere in black space, is outlined behind the moon on ESA drawings. As a consequence, the design of the 2030s and the decades since the United States and its partners in Europe, Japan and Canada started NASA’s Artemis project.1. Little stars, land suburbs “Prove that one can live there, work there, experiment”Philippe Deloo explained in front of the media this week. “first stepESA’s European Space Agency’s Orion project manager continued. We have to go to the moon first and prove we have a solid plan to go beyond.

The SLS, Orion and the Lunar Space Gateway were key elements of this journey to the moon.
Free Lunch – Antoine Llop

That “New Era” Based on schedule delays, Space Exploration will be written in three phases between May next year and early 2026. Unlike the Apollo missions, the U.S. will not go it alone.This time, Europe will provide “Car Engine”Picture Pierre Bousquet, engineer at the Cnes National Center for Space Research in Toulouse, also part of the “house” of the space station.

SLS, HLS, Gateway, etc.

To get to the moon, NASA envisions a system that includes a rocket, SLS, vehicle, Orion, space station, a lunar gateway orbiting the moon, a lander, an HLS anchored at the gateway, where it will wait for the imminent step on the lunar surface astronaut. None of this yet, but Artemis I is in the line of fire.

The American SLS rocket, built by Boeing, is the most powerful rocket ever built.

The American SLS rocket, built by Boeing, is the most powerful rocket ever built.
(NASA/Czerkowski) – NASA/Czerkowski

After months of assembly and testing, rockets more powerful than Apollo’s Saturn Vs were taken out two weeks ago by the giant machine that transported them to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in 1969 — “Signature Moments”, said NASA Administrator Tom Whitmire on Tuesday night.This weekend, before the actual countdown, simulated its launch, which runs from May 7 to May 21 or “more likely” Between June 6th and 16th. Without astronauts: They will be on the Artemis II mission and will orbit the moon before landing on the moon with Artemis III in late 2025.

car engine

But to get that far, they’ll rely on Orion, invisible under the SLS’s fairing, consisting of two elements: the crew’s command module and the service module, the true core of technology.

The European Service Module ESM is designed and manufactured by Airbus. There’s nothing visually spectacular, a cylinder beneath the Orion cone.but he will make sure “Thrusters, providing solar energy, heat, water and air to the crew”explains Didier Radola, the manufacturer’s project manager. “The key factor” Philippe Deloo insists that the spacecraft is equipped with large solar panels, four tanks, various systems and 33 engines. Who will give impulse.

The part of the Orion delivered in Europe is the bottom part of the capsule, including the engine.

The part of the Orion delivered in Europe is the bottom part of the capsule, including the engine.
NASA/ESA/ATG MEDIALAB

The first ignition will push Orion towards our moon, “The transfer takes five days”. The next one will slow down the capsule, placing it in a 60,000km orbit. To extract it, “It is necessary to order a new ignitionRestoring Philippe Deloo and re-accelerate the vehicle back to Earth.”

ESA astronaut

The trip will last eight days. But the ESM does not return and is consumed in the atmosphere.

Airbus has already delivered a second ESM to NASA, Didier Radola said. “ESM3 will carry the first astronauts, with delivery scheduled for mid-2023.

The next three have been ordered and three are under discussion. One of them will be at least one European. Who, when, that is another matter.

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