NASA begins assembling the rocket for Artemis moon mission

The first booster segment of the Space Launch System (SLS) was stacked on top of the mobile launcher at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this week in preparation for its maiden flight, NASA said Tuesday.

A total of 10 segments will form the twin solid rocket boosters before its first liftoff, which is expected to take place next year.

The rocket is a key part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, which aims to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024. NASA officials also hope the SLS will be used to reach Mars and other “deep space destinations.”

NASA's Artemis I mission is expected to launch in 2021 with two test flights around the Moon without astronauts

Once fully assembled, NASA said the SLS rocket will stand taller than the Statue of Liberty and have about 15% more thrust at liftoff than the Saturn V rockets that powered the Apollo missions about 50 years ago, making it the most powerful rocket ever

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From Space Force to Artemis: what Joe Biden presidency may mean in orbit and beyond

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Ian Whittaker, Senior Lecturer in Physics, Nottingham Trent University

Gareth Dorrian, Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Space Science, University of Birmingham

Donald Trump set bold goals for space exploration during his time in office – from crewed missions to the Moon and Mars to a Space Force. By contrast, his successor Joe Biden has been relatively quiet on space policy. So how is space exploration likely to change going forward?

It is clear is that there will be change. NASA’s current chief, Jim Bridenstine, has already announced he is stepping down. And we know that US human spaceflight policy rarely survives a change in presidency.

That said, the amazing success of the crewed SpaceX launch to the International Space Station (ISS), however, means the commercial crew programme

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NASA, European Space Agency Formalize Artemis Gateway Partnership

NASA, European Space Agency Formalize Artemis Gateway Partnership

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have finalized an agreement to collaborate on the Artemis Gateway. This agreement is an important element in a broad effort by the United States to engage international partners in sustainable lunar exploration and to demonstrate technologies necessary for a future human mission to Mars. The agreement, signed Tuesday, marks NASA’s first formal commitment to launch international crew members to the lunar vicinity as part of NASA’s Artemis missions.

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)
NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

The agreement is a critical part of NASA’s efforts to lead an unprecedented global coalition to the Moon. Additional Gateway agreements with other international partners will be executed in the near future, further contributing to the creation of a dynamic and sustainable lunar exploration architecture.

Under this agreement, ESA will

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NASA, European Space Agency to collaborate on Artemis Gateway lunar outpost

As NASA seeks to return humans to the lunar surface through its Artemis program, the space agency is adding international partnerships to facilitate sustainable exploration of the moon — while demonstrating that a human mission to Mars is possible in the future.

A collaborative agreement was finalized between NASA and the European Space Agency on Tuesday, and the two agencies will work together on the Artemis Gateway lunar outpost. This is also NASA’s first formal agreement to launch international crew members to the moon during the Artemis missions, according to the agency.

The Artemis Gateway will act as a way station serving astronauts traveling from Earth before they reach the surface of the moon.

“This partnership leverages the outstanding cooperation established by the International Space Station as we push forward to the Moon,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement.

“Gateway will continue to expand NASA’s cooperation with international

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