NASA representatives carry out the first studies of the SpaceX architecture for the Artemis project

NASA representatives carry out the first studies of the SpaceX architecture for the Artemis project

SpaceX has finally received NASA’s first representatives of the US space agency’s Artemis project to bring humans back to the moon by 2025. Tour For a more assembled structure – earlier this week.

After two failed legal proceedings by Jeff Bezos’s rival Blue Origin, the first demands of the project will finally be implemented by Elon Musk’s company, which has bid $ 1 billion for a project with NASA. In April 2021.

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Tender call provides for construction Human landing system (HLS), a SLS rocket crew transport platform (Space launch system) And its Orion capsule, in a very short time, have the role of expelling astronauts from the spacecraft and carrying them to lunar soil.

The visit focused Star base, A structure that includes launch pads for the Starship Orbit spacecraft and the transport vehicle factory. The idea was to measure the subcontractor’s progress in the development of the structure – which, from a technical point of view, should not be overlooked.

This is because, in January of this year, there was not even asphalt in the designated area of ​​Starbase, only part of the missile support tower – which, previously, was built for other purposes. The year is not over yet, and in the same area there are three semi-autonomous robotic weapons, a skyscraper tower, and the construction of the largest cryogenic rocket tank ever built in history is nearing completion.

Of course, this is not “fair” to NASA and Artemis: the same system sees progress in the development of various starship prototypes (SpaceX is in twenty-first place, if you count …) and its super heavy rocket. The image below gives a good idea of ​​the progress made during these months:

Apparently, before saying that SpaceX architecture is “complete”, as the saying goes, “there is still a lot of ground”: there are still two robotic arms that can help “catch” the starship and superheavy. The assembly phase, and the fuel storage area now have hundreds of trucks, but the goal is to assemble a massive tank of liquid methane (LCH4). After that comes endurance tests, temperature tests … SpaceX still has its hands full.

However, the pace of these evolutions should be noted: after cryogenic tests – conducted by SpaceX a few months ago – standard firing tests (ignited by rocket-induced ignition, without departure) can be almost implemented. Immediately. Production for the aircraft will be significantly reduced and will allow the company to respond quickly to requests.

From there, the company should begin designing the first prototype of the HLS, with the Starbase system already ready. If this pace continues, some news is likely to be displayed sooner than expected.

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