SLS mass-sim removed, Lockheed Martin’s new facility, sexism at Blue Origin and more Top stories

It has been a shockingly busy past week in space. From continued work towards Artemis I, to spacecraft reaching new planets, a lot has happened in the world of spaceflight and space exploration.

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Scoop: SLS modal testing complete, mass-sim removed

NASA has just completed modal testing with the mass simulator on the SLS rocket for Artemis I. With this testing complete, operations can move forward in preparation for rollout to SLC-39B.

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[Scoop] Artemis 1 CubeSats get second chance at integration thanks to SLS testing delays

SLS is undergoing testing ahead of Orion integration and rollout for the Wet Dress Rehearsal for the Artemis 1 mission. But it’s not only Orion going to the Moon. 13 CubeSats are tagging along, at least now it’s 13…

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[UPDATE: More testing and pictures] Orion mass simulator installed atop Artemis I SLS

NASA teams are racing towards the first launch of the SLS rocket at Kennedy Space Center. The final pieces needed for sull stack testing were installed a few days ago, the Orion stage adapter structural test article, and Orion Mass Simulator. The full stack of SLS is expected to roll out to LC-39B for further testing and a Wet Dress Rehearsal.

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SLS’s next stage gets stacked at the Kennedy Space Center

It’s a slow process but NASA is stacking their first Space Launch System rocket in the VAB at Kennedy Space Center. The newest part was just stacked in the last few days.

Artemis 1 manikin named Campos by public vote

The Artemis program will be launching the first woman and the next man to the Moon. Before humans can step aboard an SLS rocket launching towards the Moon, we need a test run. Inside the Orion capsule for this first launch of the Artemis program, Artemis I, will be a manikin some have dubbed a ‘Moonikin’, but now this dummy has a name.

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Artemis 1 Closer Than Ever; SLS Core Stage Undergoing Integration

Stacking of the SLS Core Stage is well underway at this time with operations beginning on June 10th. This is a major milestone for the Artemis and SLS programs. The launch of Artemis 1 is currently NET November 2021, but this timeframe assumes no complications.

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NASA shares timelapse of SLS’s Core Stage prep work in Vehicle Assembly Building [Video]

NASA’s SLS Core Stage arrived at Kennedy Space Center in April and has been getting final checkouts done to it in the VAB since then. Now we are nearing the final lift to assemble it with the solid rocket boosters.

NASA’s Pegasus barge arrives at Kennedy Space Center with Artemis I Core Stage on board

After months of testing and years of delays in the development and construction processes. The parts of the first SLS rocket have finally all arrived at Kennedy Space Center for final assembly and checkouts.

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Successful test of SLS brings NASA closer to the Moon

NASA’s first hot fire test of the Artemis I booster took place on January 16th. This first test exceeded NASA’s preset hydraulic limits when gimbaling the motors. Exceeding these conservative limits during flight would not have caused malfunctions, nonetheless, NASA decide to conduct a second test to gather more data.

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SLS: NASA says aborted hot fire test met several goals of the test and clarifies cryo-cycling concern

After the SLS Core Stage hot fire test that aborted just over a minute into the test, it was uncertain what objectives were met and if they would need to do a second test fire. During the second press conference Tuesday afternoon, concerns arose about the Core Stage reaching its cryo-cycling limit before the launch but today NASA shares the Core Stage and Artemis 1 timeline may be in better shape than first thought.

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Artemis I: NASA opts to “use as is” after an Orion backup Power and Data Unit comms card failed

Earlier this month it was reported that NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon had a dead backup channel on a Power and Data Unit communication card. The Verge shared an internal document that showed multiple approaches to address the failed redundant channel, and the option to fully restore it was estimated to take up to a year. NASA has now issued a decision on how it will move forward with the Orion spacecraft ahead of its first uncrewed mission around the Moon.

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