If the schedule holds, NASA is gearing up to launch its first Artemis mission as soon as February 2022. The “Orange Rocket,” as it is sometimes called, pulls a lot of old hardware and launch sequences from the iconic Space Shuttle.
While the Space Shuttle may be retired, it still wows us when rewatching launch footage. The views many of us saw on launch days – from engine ignition to the solid rocket booster’s exhaust trails – are engrained in our minds. However, the views we saw are dwarfed in comparison to the number of engineering cameras viewing mission-critical ground equipment.
Over 125 cameras were used to capture each Space Shuttle flight. Most of them were pointed at ground equipment to ensure they performed as designed, with some used for tracking purposes. These close-up views of the raw power of the Space Shuttle bring back the excitement in everyone. Soon we will be able to see a very similar rocket take flight.
NASA’s Space Launch System shares many similarities to the Space Shuttle. SRBs, engines, fuel, pad, and launch platform are all derived from the Shuttle program. Before the Shuttle’s retirement, NASA had two engineers record a voice-over detailing how they captured those iconic views. You can see the close-up details of a Space Shuttle and what an SLS launch will look like in some instances.
Currently, NASA is preparing for a wet dress rehearsal in January of 2022 of the fully stacked SLS rocket. Then the agency plans to launch Artemis I, performing a complete shakedown of the rocket and Orion capsule as soon as mid-February. After Artemis I, we will no longer need to daydream about what SLS will look like when it launches. Instead, we’ll be able to watch it happen before our very eyes.
Enjoy reading Space Explored?
FTC: Space Explored is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links