September 30, 2022

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Training on NASA's giant moon rocket with a Dutch touch

Training on NASA’s giant moon rocket with a Dutch touch

With rehearsal, NASA is preparing to return to the moon this weekend. This spring, a massive new rocket will make its way to our nearest neighbor for the first time. Then there were no astronauts on board, but three dolls full of sensors. In the new Orion spacecraft and European service module, with Dutch solar panels.

One wet rehearsalThey call it. NASA exercises in three days countdown Exactly according to the book: The rocket is refueling, but before the engines ignite in a hell of over 3000 degrees, the plug is pulled.

Then the systems first undergo a comprehensive final check before the 100-meter rocket can actually make its way to the moon. This will happen in the spring at the earliest, but it could extend into the summer. The program was delayed for years due to technical problems and the Corona crisis.

Either way, it will be an exciting mission, assures Philip Perth, director of the European Space Agency. On behalf of the European Space Agency, he is the project coordinator for the European part of the Artemis-1 mission: the European Service Module (ESM), which currently supplies oxygen, electricity, water, heat and propulsion to mock astronauts. “It’s the renaissance of architecture it takes to go back to the moon, an old dream come true. But first these devices must prove themselves.”

During the flight, the solar panels manufactured in Leiden also undergo their own space baptism. Solar panel production may seem like a piece of cake, but in this case everything is different:

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