NASA starts testing the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis II mission: video

The Artemis II mission has been postponed to 2025, which allows for more detailed preparation for the flight. Recently, NASA has started testing the Orion spacecraft, which will take four astronauts into lunar orbit. The Space Agency posted a video of the capsule transportation process to an upgraded vacuum chamber in the Operations and Checkout Building of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft will be tested there in conditions close to the vacuum of space.

The video also shows a new control room, which overlooks an upgraded camera and contains several workstations and communication equipment. In preparation for the Orion tests, other upgrades of the facility were carried out.

Marie Reed from NASA commented on the start of testing of the Artemis II spacecraft: “It was an amazing opportunity to lead a diverse and exceptional team to re-activate a capability for testing the NASA’s next generation spacecraft that will carry humans back to the Moon.”

On April 4, 2024, the team transported the Orion spacecraft of the Artemis II mission to a vacuum chamber inside the Operations and Checkout Building of the Kennedy Space Center. Photo: NASA/Amanda Stevenson

The crewless Artemis I mission was launched by NASA’s next-generation SLS rocket and sent Orion flying around the Moon during its first flight test. The Artemis II mission will follow the same route, but will approach a distance of 140 km above the surface of the Moon, which will allow four astronauts to see our moon as closely as possible. The purpose of the 10-day flight is to confirm the safety of the spacecraft for further manned lunar missions.

The Orion spacecraft is installed in a vacuum chamber for testing. Photo: NASA

If successful, Artemis II will pave the way for the long-awaited Artemis III mission, during which the first woman and the first African American will set foot on the surface of the moon. The launch of Artemis III has also been postponed and is scheduled for 2026. During this mission, the crew will transfer from the Orion spacecraft to SpaceX’s Starship HLS lander, which is currently under development. Starship will then descend to the surface of the Moon for the first manned lunar landing since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

Earlier, we showed in what conditions the Artemis II astronauts would fly to the Moon.

According to NASA

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