THIS WEEK @NASA: Orion Spacecraft for Artemis I on the Move, NASA Selects Telescope to Study Milky Way

By  //  October 24, 2021

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ABOVE VIDEO: The Orion spacecraft for Artemis I is on the move, critical hardware for Artemis II is delivered, and a new telescope to study our Milky Way … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Orion Spacecraft for Artemis I on the Move

Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida moved the Orion spacecraft for our Artemis I mission from the Launch Abort System Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Then Orion was placed on top of the Space Launch System or SLS rocket and joined the other flight hardware already stacked and ready for the upcoming Artemis I mission.

Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test of Orion and the SLS as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon.

Under Artemis, NASA aims to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon and establish sustainable lunar exploration, in preparation for eventual human missions to Mars.

Orion’s Service Module for Artemis II Delivered

Teams in Germany that helped build the Orion spacecraft’s European Service Module or ESM for our Artemis II mission recently prepared it for travel to our Kennedy Space Center. The ESM stores Orion’s propulsion, thermal control, electrical power, and critical life support systems. Orion arrived safely at Kennedy and was transferred to the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility to be integrated with other Artemis II hardware. Artemis II will be Orion’s first spaceflight around the Moon and back with astronauts.

NASA Selects Telescope to Study the Milky Way

NASA has selected a proposal for a new gamma-ray space telescope, called the Compton Spectrometer and Imager or COSI, that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way. Out of 18 telescope proposals that our Astrophysics Explorers program received in 2019, COSI is the only one selected to continue into development. It is expected to launch in 2025.

Soyuz Crew Returns Safely from Space Station

“Undocking confirmed. Soyuz MS-18 is now free of the International Space Station.”—NASA TV Commentator

On Oct. 17, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and producer-director Klim Shipenko landed safely in Kazakhstan – just hours after leaving the International Space Station. The seven people remaining onboard the station include NASA’s Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei. The station is scheduled to get four more occupants later this month, with the arrival of our SpaceX Crew-3 mission – currently targeted for launch on Oct. 31.

Supply Spacecraft Redocks to Space Station

On Oct. 22, a Russian Progress supply spacecraft that had undocked from the space station’s Poisk module two days earlier, redocked – this time to the station’s recently installed Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module. The maneuver provided an opportunity to test and check out systems in the new module that are used for orientation control of the station.

Sharing a New Water Data Platform

NASA is sharing OpenET, a powerful, new, web-based platform that uses publicly available data, to help those who rely on water resources across the drought-stricken western U.S. OpenET measures evapotranspiration – the combined process by which water is transferred to the atmosphere through evaporation of surface water on land and transpiration of moisture from plants. The tool puts NASA data into the hands of farmers, water managers, conservation groups, and others to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management.

Ellington Field Hangar Named After John Young

On Oct. 19, we held a ceremony at Ellington Field, near our Johnson Space Center in Houston, to name the hangar there that houses the agency’s T-38 astronaut training jets after late astronaut John Young. Young was a member of NASA’s second astronaut class, known as the “New Nine.” He walked on the Moon during Apollo 16, commanded the first space shuttle mission, and became the first person to launch into space seven times – six from Earth, and once from the surface of the Moon.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA