The artist's drawing of Orion's spacecraft takes boarding concept of "space launch system" rocket launch. The Orion spacecraft will complete its first orbital tour in exploration mission 1 (EM-1), tentatively scheduled for the end of 2019.
On April 27, Beijing time, according to foreign media reports, NASA is using the moon as its ultimate goal to promote deep space exploration. On April 26th, EDT (10pm Beijing time), NASA held a press conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to introduce the status quo of the deep space exploration project of the agency and the Orion spacecraft that will launch and conduct a moon tour. .
Last year, NASA stated in a report that Orion spacecraft may postpone the launch until June 2020. However, Ellen Ochoa, director of the Johnson Space Center, confirmed at the meeting that NASA is still working hard to improve the powerful "space launch system" and hopes to use it to launch the Orion spacecraft by 2019. Flying around the moon, that is, "Exploration Mission No. 1" & "Unmanned Space Program (EM-1)."
"We hope to complete the launch by the end of 2019. This is the goal that we are trying to achieve." "Ochoa said at a press conference that "We are conducting an in-depth assessment of this. At present, the launch time may be early 2020. However, we are still putting pressure on NASA and colleagues to hope to launch in December 2019 and make sure that each step is the best and that we keep up with the schedule as much as possible. ”
Ochoa said that the EM-1 spacecraft used for the first test flight has been assembled at the Kennedy Aviation Center in Florida and is still waiting for the ESA's "service module", which is expected to be delivered this summer. . (The service module will be placed below the Orion spacecraft and the emergency launch escape system will be installed at the top.) Meanwhile, the EM-2 spacecraft for the second mission of the Orion spacecraft is also being installed at the Michuude, Louisiana site. Accept the assembly and will be sent to Florida this summer.
Ochoa said that approximately next year at this time, NASA will launch "Escape Escape Test No. 2" before the official start of the EM-1 project to test the spacecraft's launch escape system. The test flight is about 6 miles (about 9.7 kilometers) high and will be a short and intense test.
"The test will only take three minutes, but it will be a very exciting three minutes." "Ochoa said.
According to Vanessa Wyche, director of the NASA Exploration Integration and Science Council, after the Orion spacecraft arrived on the moon, NASA plans to make the spacecraft stay in the moon orbit for a long time. During this period, it will complete system adjustments and build a name. Called "deep space gateway" orbit space station (Deep Space Gateway).
"Based on the currently-developed transportation systems, such as the space launch system and the Orion spacecraft, and using the International Space Station to test related technologies in low-Earth orbit, we will continue to work in this century with the joint efforts of the business community and global partners." In the era of joint formation of a manned orbital space station. "Wiki," said at the conference, "NASA and partners will use deep space portals" to conduct deep space explorations, such as launching moon missions that are less dependent on the Earth. ”
"We will build a small manned space station on the orbit of the moon to use it for testing." We will first understand the situation on the moon and carry out a lunar surface test. Then the construction work was carried out, and other tests were done before finally proceeding towards Mars. "Watch added.
Wicky said that NASA will learn more about the Moon in the next decade and not only through the Orion project. The NASA Scientific Mission Council will provide scientists with a new opportunity to study the lunar samples brought back from the Apollo missions that have not previously been analyzed, and use modern technology to conduct more in-depth analysis. NASA will also launch more robotic moon exploration projects to gain a better understanding of the lunar surface. In addition, the "deep space portal" space station will assist the communications of the moon to the ground, allowing people to explore in-depth areas that had previously involved less.
"We have been planning to explore the area around the moon in the 20th century. Because we believe that before we actually fly to Mars, we still have a lot to test and learn. "Ochoa added that" during the trip around the moon and moon exploration, we often think about what needs to be achieved to successfully carry out the mission of Mars. ”
However, prior to this, the relevant team must first complete the assembly of the Orion spacecraft, successfully carry out the EM-1 project, and then complete the EM-2 project. In the EM-2 project, astronauts will fly around the moon and break through the distance limit reached by humans before this time, which is more than 64,000 kilometers above the Moon.
At the end of the conference, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott shared her experience in the test. These tests are critical to ensuring the smooth operation of the Orion spacecraft and flight procedures.
"We have done many tests that require me to wear space suits to complete tests with four other crew members." We were strapped to the Orion spacecraft simulator. Inside it was installed a smoke maker. At the beginning of the test, they will release smoke, close the hatch, and then see if we can escape, how to untie the strap, how fast to escape in sequence, and so on. ”
Scott said that they had just finished testing last week to escape from the docking hatch at the top of the Orion spacecraft without being able to escape from the side hatches. In the face of this situation, a ladder will be placed above the spacecraft. They first throw the liferaft out of the hatch from the top and climb out along the ladder.
"These plans can be made in great detail. Engineers have done a very good job in this area." However, we need to let humans really participate in the testing process in order to find out what happened before. In the early stages of project development, the involvement of humans is crucial. ”