NASA Reports Advances in Artemis, James Webb Telescope Programs
Sept. 10, 2019 (EIRNS)—NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center posted a short video yesterday, “The Hardware for NASA’s Artemis I Mission Comes Together,” which updates the status of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft on which the United States intends to send human beings back to the Moon.
“Over the course of their development, the rocket and spacecraft have moved from design and manufacturing to testing and assembly and integration. Some of the hardware has even been delivered to the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Along with the Gateway in lunar orbit and a new human landing system, SLS and Orion create the backbone for the agency’s Artemis missions to the Moon that will land astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024,”
As for astronomical investigations, NASA reported at the end of August that engineers had successfully connected the two halves of the James Webb Space Telescope: the telescope itself (which includes the mirrors and science instruments) and the already-combined sunshield and spacecraft. The next steps will be to electrically connect the halves, test the electrical connections, and test the functioning of the unit as a whole. Bill Ochs, Webb project manager for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, said “this milestone symbolizes the efforts of thousands of dedicated individuals for over more than 20 years across NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, Northrop Grumman, and the rest of our industrial and academic partners.” Gregory Robinson, the Webb program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., celebrated that “soon we will be able to see incredible new views of our amazing universe.” The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2021.
When deployed, “this powerful and complex space telescope will explore the cosmos using infrared light, from planets and moons within our Solar System to the most ancient and distant galaxies,” NASA reported.