NASA Administrator admits 2024 lunar landing date might not happen

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Artemis III landing on the Moon in 2024 has always been a lofty goal, but NASA officials stuck to the date even as the previous administration left. Today, they began to officially acknowledge the breakdown of the deadline.

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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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NASA’s new Administrator and his love-hate relationship with the ‘New Space Era’

Bill Nelson was sworn in as NASA’s new Administrator earlier this year. With every new political movement in the space industry comes controversy and division. Bill Nelson’s appointment came with many but the biggest has been his relationship with NASA’s use of commercial space companies.

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When will NASA send SLS and Orion on the first Artemis mission around the Moon?

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NASA is sending astronauts back to the Moon for the first since Apollo 17 in 1972. The new space exploration program is called Artemis, and the first Artemis mission is just months away from happening. A new report though begs the question of when will NASA truly launch Artemis 1?

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NASA Astronaut Victor Glover tours his possible future ride to the Moon

NASA Astronaut Victor Glover visited NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to get a tour of the SLS rocket being stacked in the VAB.

NASA test fires SLS RS-25 engine at Stennis, validating new manufacturing process

NASA recently conducted an important 8-minute RS-25 single-engine hot fire test at Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi. Space Launch System (SLS) relies on four RS-25 engines (and two solid rocket boosters) to leave the planet for destinations like the Moon and beyond as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

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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 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.

Preparations underway for the LC-39B Emergency Egress System

In cases where there is an emergency on the pad and the crew needs to get out of there in a hurry. Companies have designed Emergency Egress Systems (EES) to do just that job. SpaceX and ULA each have them, and in the past, NASA has as well. It looks like Artemis, NASA’s mission to the moon, is in the early stages of having her’s built.

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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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NASA selects SpaceX to develop human landing system for Artemis moon mission using Starship

NASA is actively working on Artemis, a space exploration program that includes a mission to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon during this decade. Astronauts will travel from Earth in NASA’s Orion spacecraft which will launch on the space agency’s Space Launch System rocket. SLS gives Orion the boost it needs to reach the Moon, but Orion doesn’t touch down on the lunar surface. A third vehicle called a human landing system is needed to transport astronauts to the surface of the Moon. One year ago, NASA selected three potential partners for providing the human landing system for Artemis 3, the first mission in the program that includes walking on the Moon.

Later today, the U.S. space agency will officially announce which partner it will proceed in funding for development. Ace Washington Post space reporter and author Christian Davenport has scooped the 4 p.m. EDT press conference with source selection details. According to Davenport, SpaceX has won the contract with its Starship-based human landing system bid.

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NASA planning to fire up an SLS rocket engine today at Stennis Space Center

Today Aerojet Rocketdyne’s plans to fire up an RS-25 engine at Stennis Space Center’s A1 test stand for another static fire test.

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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[Update: Test Window Announced] Artemis I booster stacking is now complete; Awaits first Core Stage

Over the last few years, the pieces of NASA’s Artemis I mission have slowly been making their way to Kennedy Space Center for final checkouts and stacking. For the past couple of months, NASA has been preparing to receive the final parts of the rocket with the first step towards a fully stacked SLS finishing the other day.

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SLS: NASA to proceed with second Green Run test in late February

Late last week, NASA announced that it would perform a second hotfire test of the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage. While the decision will likely cause SLS to miss its launch date later this year, it will allow NASA and Boeing the opportunity to collect necessary 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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Why did Space Launch System’s Green Run hot fire test abruptly end early? NASA can explain …

NASA released a statement this week detailing information about some of the findings that contributed to the early shutdown of the Artemis 1 Core Stage during the Green Run Hot Fire test on Saturday. The test was originally supposed to last about 8 minutes, but ended up only lasting 67.2 seconds, far short of the minimum amount of time needed to certify the core.

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[UPDATED] NASA’s upgraded mobile launcher for larger Space Launch System rocket moving forward

NASA recently submitted a permit detailing facility construction and modification plans to support its next Mobile Launch Platform for Space Launch System, the agency’s nearly complete rocket to the Moon. We first have to go back to where SLS all started with the Constellation program to understand why NASA is building a new Mobile Launch Platform.

The current Mobile Launcher, ML-1, was initially built for the Constellation program between 2009 and 2010. When the Constellation program was canned in October 2010, NASA started reworking ML-1 to support their new program for the Space Launch System. With the increased complexity and weight of SLS, issues quickly began to arise.

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NASA prepares for Artemis 1 with SLS booster stacking and Orion capsule preparations [Gallery]

NASA invited media to Kennedy Space Center to witness the progress being made with the stacking of the SLS Solid Rocket Motors and to see the Orion Crew Capsule as it is being prepared to be moved to one of the final processing facilities before being stacked later this year.

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SLS: Green Run engine test ends early, likely pushing back first Artemis Moon mission [Gallery]

NASA is returning astronauts to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended in the 1970s, but first the space agency must develop a new rocket capable of reaching lunar orbit. Space Launch System is that rocket, and it’s been in development for several years.

Over the weekend, NASA’s Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi conducted a critical engine test on the core stage of Space Launch System and its four RS-25 engines. While these engines aren’t new — they actually date back to use on the space shuttle — but being configured on a rocket to the Moon is untested.

The epic engine test wasn’t a total success, however, as the vehicle detected an anomaly and stopped firing its engines well before the required test duration. The good news is NASA says both the rocket core stage and its engines remain in good shape.

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What is the Artemis program and how will it take us back to the Moon and beyond?

Signed on the 45th anniversary of the final crewed mission to the Moon, Space Policy Directive 1 directed NASA to begin a mission to send the next man and first woman to the Moon with a pathway to continue onto the crewed exploration of Mars. Since then, the Artemis program has expanded to include already existing programs as well as new commercialized contracts for new services.

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How to watch NASA’s epic 8-minute-long Space Launch System rocket core stage hot fire test

This Saturday NASA and their contractors are planning on conducting the final Green Run test for NASA’s Artemis-1 core stage of the Space Launch System rocket. This will be the only time the stage will be fired for a full 8 minutes before its flight.

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NASA conducting final test on Space Launch System rocket core stage this weekend

After a year of a long testing campaign, NASA and Boeing at Stennis Space Center are ready to conduct the final test for the Space Launch System core stage before it is handed over to the launch team at Kennedy Space Center.

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SLS: NASA targeting core stage hot fire test for ‘as early as January 17’

A couple of weeks ago, on December 20, NASA completed the wet dress rehearsal test for the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage. And then today, the agency finally announced that it would be moving forward with the green run hot fire test, targeting a date “as early as January 17.”

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Boeing and NASA conduct critical design review of SLS’s Exploration Upper Stage

Originally planned to be a part of the first iteration of Space Launch System, the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) is set to start being used on the SLS Block 1B variant of NASA’s Moon rocket. Boeing, the prime contractor for NASA’s SLS, announced this week that they have completed a critical design review for the new upper stage of the rocket.

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SLS: Core stage wet dress rehearsal complete, ‘early shutdown’ in fueling test being evaluated

After a few weeks of trial and error, NASA says it has completed the wet dress rehearsal test step for the core stage of Space Launch System, the agency’s rocket to the Moon and beyond. This is the final step before NASA and Boeing engineers fire the core stage in place for eight minutes to collect data.

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SLS: NASA proceeding with wet dress rehearsal next week after fuel temperature paused test

NASA is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon in this decade with the Artemis program. Our return to the Moon won’t be like the Apollo program, however, as NASA wants to return in a sustainable fashion: lunar orbit station called gateway, Moon base called Artemis Base Camp, and international partnerships.

The agency briefly paused a critical step in testing the core stage of its new Space Launch System rocket at Stennis Space Center this week. NASA now says it will resume what’s called the wet dress rehearsal test next week. Launching NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and sending the Orion spacecraft around the Moon next year on the Artemis I mission is key to pushing forward with the Artemis program.

The team at the space center in South Mississippi briefly suspended fueling the rocket core stage on Monday after liquid oxygen temperature readings outside of the expected range were detected. Officials described the issue as operational and not caused by the rocket core stage. Now the team believes it has readjusted its fueling procedure to hit the target LOX delivery temperature.

Here’s the latest from NASA’s Artemis blog:

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SLS core stage wet dress rehearsal paused for ‘days’ to adjust propellant loading procedure

NASA hopes to conduct a critical hot fire test of the core stage of its Space Launch System rocket at Stennis Space Center later this month. The test is the last major step in developing NASA’s new powerful rocket to the Moon. If all goes well this month, NASA will be on track to conduct its first lunar flyby mission called Artemis I with SLS and the Orion spacecraft as early as November 2021.

It’s too early to know if NASA will have to kick back the hot fire test into next year, but a scheduled wet dress rehearsal that started over the weekend was paused on Monday after initial propellant loading to the rocket. NASA says the team at Stennis Space Center will now study data collected during initial propellant loading and adjust the fueling process before completing the wet dress rehearsal.

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NASA is GO for Space Launch System Wet Dress Rehearsal at Stennis Space Center

NASA conducted a readiness review from the teams at Stennis Space Center before the long-awaited Green Run Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) for Space Launch System’s core stage. The teams are all “Go” to begin the seventh and final test before teams ignite the four RS-25 engines (former Space Shuttle main engines) for a full duration burn strapped into the B-2 test stand in South Mississippi near Interstate-10 and the Louisiana state line.

Ultimately, the Wet Dress Rehearsal marks one of a few preliminary steps remaining before NASA launches its Artemis I mission in November 2021. Artemis I will be the first flight of Space Launch System, in which NASA’s new rocket sends its Orion spacecraft around the Moon for a lunar flyby mission. Artemis II will introduce astronauts to the lunar flyby route, and Artemis III will deliver the first woman and next man to the Moon.

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Orion spacecraft readiness may come down to the wire for NASA’s Artemis I mission around Moon

NASA’s upcoming Artemis I mission is a major step toward sending the first woman and next man to the Moon in this decade. The first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft is on track for November 2021, and the uncrewed lunar flyby mission will clear the way for SLS and Orion to carry astronauts.

The Verge was first to report on an unexpected hiccup in Orion’s readiness to fly, however, and the timeline for a fix could come down to the wire for Artemis I.

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Massive week for NASA’s Space Launch System as launch preparations and testing underway

We’ve seen much of the journey to NASA’s first Artemis mission take place at Stennis Space Center and Michoud Assembly Facility in Mississippi and Louisiana, respectively. This week we get to see the first piece of SLS hardware begin stacking at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the big launch around the Moon next year.

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SLS for Christmas: NASA sets date for Green Run Hot Fire test at Stennis Space Center

NASA announced today that it has successfully repaired a valve inside the propulsion system of the SLS Core Stage. Having repaired it, teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center can move on with further tests.

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Watch NASA’s mobile launcher rollout to Launch Pad 39B ahead of first Artemis lunar mission

NASA is returning astronauts to the Moon for the first time since the final Apollo mission took flight in 1972. The new Artemis program currently includes three missions starting with an uncrewed lunar flyby mission to test the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft as soon as next year. The second Artemis spaceflight mission will introduce astronauts, and the third mission will make history as the first woman steps foot on the Moon.

Each Space Launch System rocket will lift off from Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Today NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems team practiced moving the mobile launcher, a 380-foot-tall structure, to the launch pad where EGS will “complete a thorough top-to-bottom washdown, removing any FOD, or foreign object debris, as an added safety measure in addition to the walk downs performed prior to launch.”

Space Explored photographer Jared Base attended NASA’s sunrise mobile launcher rollout today and captured up-close shots and video of the 10.5 million pound structure traveling from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B.

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NASA is returning to the Moon, but first a key component of its rocket must pass these tests

October 5: Six of eight steps have been completed. NASA plans to conduct the final step, an 8-minute long hot fire test, in November.

October 13: Boeing is tentatively planning the hot fire test for November 14.


Just north of Interstate I-10 along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi is a gigantic, orange core stage that will soon be used to send NASA’s most powerful rocket ever to the Moon. The 212-foot-tall core stage of Space Launch System, the vehicle for Artemis lunar missions starting next year, is currently hoisted up on the red, white, and meatball’d B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center.

Engineers at the space center in south Mississippi are responsible for ensuring that the giant fuel tank and RS-25 engines are ready for action before being transferred to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Steps range from testing flight electronics to loading and draining 350 tons of rocket fuel.

The ultimate step in the Green Run test is to fire up the four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines fueled by the core stage. The static fire test will occur for up to eight minutes, creating a thunderous roar as the SLS core stage is held down by the B-2 Test Stand. Make no mistake: This engine test fire will be epic.

So how far along is NASA’s Green Run test for the Space Launch System core stage? Follow along here as NASA completes each step of the Green Run test:

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Stennis Space Center closed ahead of Hurricane Sally, SLS core stage and test stand secured

NASA has closed its space center in Mississippi and secured a critical piece of Moon-bound rocket hardware ahead of Hurricane Sally’s impact on the Gulf Coast this week. Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi is home to the B-2 Test Stand where NASA engineers have been busy testing the rocket core stage for Space Launch System.

Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane (96-110 mph wind speeds) Tuesday night before weakening to a tropical storm on Wednesday. The current trajectory shows Stennis Space Center directly in the storm’s path.

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NASA paves way for nine Artemis missions using Space Launch System starting in 2021

NASA is preparing to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program. The program currently includes three Artemis missions including two uncrewed lunar flight tests and one mission to send astronauts to the Moon. Today NASA shared an Artemis program update supporting up to six additional missions under the program.

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Space Launch System progress restarting at Stennis Space Center ahead of Green Run test

Work on Space Launch System, NASA’s heavy lift rocket designed to return astronauts to the Moon, was chugging along through March before COVID-19 closed down the country.

Starting this week, NASA says Stennis Space Center in Mississippi will start again on the Core Stage for SLS ahead of the Green Run test later this fall.

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The mysterious months-long period between Space Launch System delivery and launch

This is the video of NASA’s Steve Jurcyk speaking at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory last week where he shared the 2021 launch target for Artemis I. I’ve transcribed and timestamped the relevant clip.

I do wonder what all processes are required between early fall 2020 to late 2021. The pieces for Space Launch System will be at Kennedy Space Center for almost a year before launching.

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NASA says Space Launch System targeting mid-late 2021 launch

When will Space Launch System fly? There’s more NASA talk of 2021. Marcia Smith reports for SpacePolicyOnline:

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When will Space Launch System fly with Artemis 1?

It’s too early to mark your calendars and start planning for the Artemis 1 launch yet, but Chris Gebhardt reporting for NASASpaceflight has ruled out this year and the first three months of next year:

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Video: Space Launch System Core Stage at Stennis

Our footage of the Core Stage of NASA’s Space Launch System on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center gives you an idea of the scale of the tank, and the commentary from Maurie Vander and Barry Robinson is even more insightful.

Vander is Chief of Operations Division of NASA’s Engineering & Test Directorate, and Robinson is the SLS Core Stage Test Project Manager.

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Up close with the core stage of SLS, NASA’s upcoming super heavy-lift launch vehicle

This giant orange thing is the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System, a super heavy-lift launch vehicle currently being built and tested, before it takes flight on the Artemis I mission.

A future version of this hardware will be used to take the first woman and next man to the Moon during this decade as part of a long-term strategy to eventually reach Mars.

Before that, NASA will conduct an uncrewed test flight of Space Launch System to send the Orion spacecraft around the Moon. This giant orange rocket is the exact hardware that will be used for Artemis I, formerly called Exploration Mission-1, as early as later this year:

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