NASA ground crews at the Kennedy Space Center are continuing to stack segments of the Space Launch System’s side-mounted solid rocket boosters on a mobile launch platform inside the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building.
A critical test firing Saturday of the four main engines powering the first stage of NASA’s gargantuan Space Launch System moon rocket is the final major hurdle before the fully assembled booster’s costly, oft-delayed launch late this year on an unpiloted test flight.
NASA is moving forward with a crucial test-firing of the core stage of the first Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket as soon as Jan. 17 after engineers were satisfied with the results of a fueling test last month.
Chinese officials say they plan to share a portion of the nearly 4 pounds of lunar material returned by the Chang’e 5 mission with other countries, but an allocation for U.S. scientists will hinge on a change in U.S. policy restricting cooperation between NASA and China’s space program.
A Canadian space flier will join three NASA crew members on the first piloted flight of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft around the moon, becoming the first non-U.S. astronaut on a lunar voyage, officials announced last week.
A capsule containing moon rocks landed in a remote, snow-covered corner of China Wednesday, bringing home the first samples from the lunar surface in 44 years and completing the Chinese space program’s most challenging robotic mission to date.
Eighteen astronauts have been selected — nine men and nine women — to begin training for upcoming Artemis missions to the moon, NASA announced Wednesday. The list includes the as-yet-unnamed next man and first woman who will set foot on the lunar surface later this decade.
The Chinese Chang’e 5 mission accomplished the first robotic docking between two spacecraft orbiting the moon Saturday, when a lunar ascent spacecraft linked up with an Earth return vehicle and transferred a container of moon rocks to bring home in mid-December.
Final preparations began this weekend at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to load super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the massive core stage of the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket for the first time as soon as Monday.