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NASA Begins Major Assembly of Rocket Stage for First Crewed Artemis Mission https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/25/nasa-begins-major-assembly-of-rocket-stage-for-first-crewed-artemis-mission/
https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/25/nasa-begins-major-assembly-of-rocket-stage-for-first-crewed-artemis-mission/
<p>The NASA team is moving parts of the <a href=”https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/index.html”>Space Launch System rocket</a> to begin assembly of the forward, or upper part, of the rocket’s core stage for the Artemis II Moon mission. On March 19, the intertank was moved&nbsp;to the vertical&nbsp;assembly area at <a href=”https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnasa.gov%2Fmichoud&amp;data=04%7C01%7Cmonica.s.hammond%40nasa.gov%7C1ea5cf485fc54d95e8df08d8edf6eff8%7C7005d45845be48ae8140d43da96dd17b%7C0%7C0%7C637520992130653943%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=XzvQGBK8qnXg5WTjMxBy7%2Foy0QtttIQDpgp1GWkEDvM%3D&amp;reserved=0″>NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility</a>&nbsp;in New Orleans where the core stage is manufactured. The intertank flight hardware is part of the upper portion of the core stage that will help power Artemis II, the second flight of the deep space rocket and the first crewed lunar mission of NASA’s <a href=”http://nasa.gov/artemisprogram”>Artemis program</a>.</p>
<figure id=”attachment_2199″ aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-2199″ class=”wp-caption aligncenter”><a href=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large.jpg”><img class=”wp-image-2199 size-large” src=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large-1024×683.jpg” alt=”The Space Launch System rocket’s intertank ” width=”840″ height=”560″ srcset=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large-300×200.jpg 300w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large-768×512.jpg 768w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large-1536×1024.jpg 1536w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large-1200×800.jpg 1200w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MAF_20210319_ArtII_Intertank06large.jpg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 1362px) 62vw, 840px”></a><figcaption id=”caption-attachment-2199″ class=”wp-caption-text”>The Space Launch System rocket’s intertank is the first piece of the upper part of the core stage to be moved for stacking in the vehicle assembly area at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.</figcaption></figure>
<p>To form the massive, 212-foot-tall <a href=”https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/infographics/corestage101.html”>core stage</a> for the agency’s Moon rocket, five major structures are joined together: the forward skirt, liquid oxygen tank, intertank, liquid hydrogen tank, and engine section. NASA and Boeing, the core stage prime contractor, are preparing to connect three structures together to create the forward assembly of the core stage. The process of stacking and assembling the forward skirt, liquid oxygen tank, and intertank is called the <a href=”https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/forward-join-infographic.html”>forward join</a>, and it is the first major vertical integration of hardware for the Artemis II core stage. The intertank is first installed in a vertical stacking cell at Michoud. Later, teams will move the liquid oxygen tank and forward skirt to the same area to stack the three structures together.</p>
<p><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-2196 size-large” src=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-1024×772.jpg” alt=”Infographic on forward join” width=”840″ height=”633″ srcset=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-1024×772.jpg 1024w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-300×226.jpg 300w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-768×579.jpg 768w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-1536×1157.jpg 1536w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-2048×1543.jpg 2048w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/forward_join_infographic_final-scaled-1200×904.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 1362px) 62vw, 840px”>The intertank contains avionics that are the “brains” of the rocket. It also serves as one of the main attach points for the twin solid rocket boosters that work with the core stage to send SLS to space. The core stage will supply propellant and power to the four RS-25 engines at the bottom of the stage to produce the remaining 2 million pounds of thrust needed to send the Artemis II mission to orbit.</p>
<p>NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon. SLS and Orion, along with ground systems at Kennedy, the human landing system and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, are NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission. (NASA image)</p>
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Thu, 25 Mar 2021 16:05:57 +0000 Jennifer Harbaugh
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https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/25/nasa-begins-major-assembly-of-rocket-stage-for-first-crewed-artemis-mission/
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Artemis II
Michoud Assembly Facility
Space Launch System


March Equinox Brings 2 Seasons: Spring, Autumn https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/19/march-equinox-brings-2-seasons-spring-autumn/
https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/19/march-equinox-brings-2-seasons-spring-autumn/
<p>The March equinox – also called the <em>vernal equinox</em> – is the beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere. It arrives on March 20, 2021, at 09:37 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) or 4:37 a.m. CDT (Central Daylight Time).</p>
<figure id=”attachment_2183″ aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-2183″ class=”wp-caption aligncenter”><a href=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3503_Diagram_of_Earth_rotating_around_the_Sun-1200×675-1.jpeg”><img class=”size-large wp-image-2183″ src=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3503_Diagram_of_Earth_rotating_around_the_Sun-1200×675-1-1024×576.jpeg” alt=”illustration of the March (spring) and September (fall or autumn) equinoxes” width=”840″ height=”473″ srcset=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3503_Diagram_of_Earth_rotating_around_the_Sun-1200×675-1-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3503_Diagram_of_Earth_rotating_around_the_Sun-1200×675-1-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3503_Diagram_of_Earth_rotating_around_the_Sun-1200×675-1-768×432.jpeg 768w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3503_Diagram_of_Earth_rotating_around_the_Sun-1200×675-1.jpeg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 1362px) 62vw, 840px”></a><figcaption id=”caption-attachment-2183″ class=”wp-caption-text”>An illustration of the March (spring) and September (fall or autumn) equinoxes. During the equinoxes, both hemispheres receive equal amounts of daylight. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech</figcaption></figure>
<p>During this equinox, the Sun will shine directly on the equator with nearly equal amounts of day and night, about 12 hours. Throughout the world, the Northern and Southern hemispheres will get equal amounts of daylight.</p>
<figure id=”attachment_2184″ aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-2184″ class=”wp-caption aligncenter”><a href=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/seasons.en_.jpg”><img class=”wp-image-2184 size-full” src=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/seasons.en_.jpg” alt width=”500″ height=”647″ srcset=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/seasons.en_.jpg 500w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/seasons.en_-232×300.jpg 232w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 85vw, 500px”></a><figcaption id=”caption-attachment-2184″ class=”wp-caption-text”>Click to view larger. Credit: NASA/Space Place</figcaption></figure>
<p>The <a href=”https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/749/seeing-equinoxes-and-solstices-from-space/”>equinoxes and solstices</a> are caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and ceaseless motion in orbit. Think of an equinox as happening on the imaginary dome of our sky, or as an event that happens in Earth’s orbit around the Sun.</p>
<p>In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox will bring us earlier sunrises, later sunsets, softer winds, and budding plants. With the opposite season, south of the equator, there will be later sunrises, earlier sunsets, chillier winds, and dry, falling leaves.</p>
<p>If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, start watching the Sun as it sets just a bit farther north on the horizon each evening until the <a href=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/tag/summer-solstice/”>summer solstice</a>. Also, enjoy the warmer weather and extended daylight!</p>
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Fri, 19 Mar 2021 16:18:59 +0000 Marshall Space Flight Center
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https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/19/march-equinox-brings-2-seasons-spring-autumn/
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equinox
solstice
spring equinox


Green Run Update: Tanking Complete for Rocket Hot Fire Test https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/18/green-run-update-tanking-complete-for-rocket-hot-fire-test/
https://blogs.nasa.gov/?p=2175
<p>Engineers have completed tanking for the&nbsp;hot fire test&nbsp;of NASA’s&nbsp;Space Launch System (SLS)&nbsp;rocket&nbsp;core stage&nbsp;at the agency’s Stennis Space Center, and the&nbsp;countdown is proceeding normally.</p>
<p>The liquid hydrogen tank holds 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen, cooled to&nbsp;minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid oxygen tank holds 196,000 gallons of liquid oxygen, cooled to minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit. After tanking is complete, the team will continue chilling down the liquid oxygen propellant to condition it before the hot fire. While they are conditioning the liquid oxygen, they replenish the liquid hydrogen as it boils off due to temperature fluctuations&nbsp;as the propellant is loaded. The tanks can be loaded up to 22 times for testing and launches.</p>
<figure id=”attachment_2176″ aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-2176″ class=”wp-caption aligncenter”><img class=”wp-image-2176 size-large” src=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/maf_20170915_p_lh2_flight_tank_lift_-171-683×1024.jpg” alt=”core stage liquid hydrogen tank” width=”683″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/maf_20170915_p_lh2_flight_tank_lift_-171-683×1024.jpg 683w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/maf_20170915_p_lh2_flight_tank_lift_-171-200×300.jpg 200w, https://blogs.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/maf_20170915_p_lh2_flight_tank_lift_-171.jpg 750w” sizes=”(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 984px) 61vw, (max-width: 1362px) 45vw, 600px”><figcaption id=”caption-attachment-2176″ class=”wp-caption-text”>This image shows the core stage liquid hydrogen tank at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans where it and the rest of the core stage where built and assembled. The flight core stage for the Artemis I mission is being tested today. Boeing, the prime contractor for the core stage, has already manufactured liquid hydrogen tanks for the Artemis II and Artemis III lunar missions.</figcaption></figure>
<p>This part of the test timeline is also important as it pertains to simulating launch. During a launch, many activities will be happening on the pad at this time, such as loading the crew. The hot fire test provides an opportunity to demonstrate that the core stage can remain in a stable configuration and be replenished as needed before engine firing to launch the rocket.</p>
<p>Learn more about&nbsp;<a href=”https://www.nasa.gov/artemisprogram/greenrun”>Green Run</a>,&nbsp;and check back at this blog for&nbsp;updates&nbsp;on the SLS core stage&nbsp;hot fire test.</p>
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Thu, 18 Mar 2021 18:20:32 +0000 Jennifer Harbaugh
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https://blogs.nasa.gov/blog/2021/03/18/green-run-update-tanking-complete-for-rocket-hot-fire-test/
Artemis I
NASA
Space Launch System
Green Run


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