Monday, July 08, 2024

NASA’s Artemis II Moon Mission Orion Spacecraft Prepared for Vacuum Testing

NASA’s Artemis II Moon Mission Orion Spacecraft Prepared for Vacuum Testing

The Artemis II Orion spacecraft is pictured surrounded by the metal walls of the altitude chamber.

Technicians used a 30-ton crane to lift NASA’s Orion spacecraft on Friday, June 28, 2024, from the Final Assembly and System Testing (FAST) cell to the altitude chamber inside the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This spacecraft will be used for the Artemis II mission to orbit the Moon. It underwent leak checks and end-to-end performance verification of the vehicle’s subsystems.

The integrated spacecraft has been undergoing final rounds of testing and assembly, including end-to-end performance verification of its subsystems and checking for leaks in its propulsion systems.

The spacecraft now will undergo a series of vacuum chamber qualification testing. The tests will subject the spacecraft to a near-vacuum environment by removing air, thus creating a space where the pressure is extremely low. This results in no atmosphere, similar to the one the spacecraft will experience during future lunar missions.

Testing will span approximately a week, with technicians collecting data from the spacecraft’s chamber, cabin, and the environmental control and life support system to test spacesuit functionality. The data recorded during these tests will be used to qualify the spacecraft to safely fly the Artemis II astronauts through the harsh environment of space.

Four astronauts will venture around the Moon in the Orion spacecraft on Artemis II. It will be the first crewed mission on NASA's path to establishing a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration through the Artemis campaign.

Check the NASA Artemis II Mission page for updates:

Image Credit: NASA/Radislav Sinyak 
Image & Release Date: June 28, 2024

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