The Artemis I Orion spacecraft, the communications link for NASA’s Mission Control Center, suffered an almost hour-long standstill while traveling into a “distant retrograde orbit” around the Moon.
Mission control in Houston lost 47 minutes of data to and from Orion at 12:09 a.m. CST while engineers reconfigured the communications link between the rover and the deep space network.
Engineers are now conducting root cause analysis to understand why the signal unexpectedly failed despite testing the procedure several times over the past week.
After the link was restored, Jim Free, NASA’s deputy director for exploration systems development, said, “This is why we test.
No data was lost, as it was recorded in Orion’s onboard system. The Command and Data Handling Officer (C&DH) – the office handling Orion’s display interface for future manned Artemis II missions – will downlink the data recorded during the outage as part of its analysis.
“There is no impact on Orion and the spacecraft remains in a healthy configuration.” NASA said in an update.
A distant retrograde orbit (DRO) is where Orion’s fuel storage is optimized and the spacecraft will remain stable for the next few weeks. Objects in the DRO are balanced between the gravitational pull of the Earth and the Moon. The “retrograde” part refers to Orion moving in the opposite direction of Earth’s moon’s orbit.
NASA should save Orion’s fuel for modification when it touches down in the Pacific Ocean around Dec. 8, then burn up its propulsion to pass the Moon again and return to Earth.
NASA Orion is scheduled to leave the DRO on December 1stIt will then begin a lunar powered flyby on December 5th.
“The spacecraft will reach its furthest distance from the Moon on Friday, November 25, just before it performs its next massive burn into orbit,” NASA said. said in Wednesday’s update.
“A far retrograde orbit insertion burn is the second maneuver required to propel Orion into a highly stable orbit, requiring minimal fuel consumption as it travels around the moon,” it explains. I’m here.
Another interesting test NASA is conducting as Orion moves toward the DRO is the “prop splash” test. This is to test the effect of propellant sloshing on Orion’s trajectory and orientation as it travels through space. Testing will be done both on the outbound and inbound flights after the lunar flyby burns up. This allows engineers to compare data when spacecraft are carrying varying amounts of liquid propellant, which is difficult to model on Earth due to differences in gravity.
To slosh the liquid, NASA will use Orion’s reaction-controlled thrusters. This is on the side of the service module and can be turned on and off to move the spacecraft and slosh propellant.
“These engines are in fixed positions and can be fired individually as needed to move the spacecraft in different directions or rotate it to any position. Each engine produces about 50 pounds of thrust. We will provide it,” explains NASA.
On Monday, November 21st, Orion used 3,715.7 pounds of propellant after it flew by the moon. NASA said Orion had used about 3,971 pounds of propellant as of Wednesday, November 23.
NASA notes that it has “more than 2,000 pounds more than what is planned for use during the mission, an increase of about 74 pounds over pre-launch expectations,” NASA said, adding that the It suggests that the ship and maneuvers are more efficient than those modeled.
Separately, the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was deployed. 10 small cubesats Inside Orion last week. One of his, BioSentinel, completed a lunar flyby on Tuesday. Used to study the effects of cosmic radiation on yeast – Orion’sbiological passenger“.
According to Mars, the idea is to test biological materials in preparation for human travel on “increasingly distant and longer-duration missions to Mars-like destinations.” Testing two strains of yeast in deep space Yeast share similarities with human cells, and we want to investigate how human cells are affected by long-term exposure to radiation in deep space.
“In many cases, DNA damage is repaired by cells in a process that is very similar between yeast and humans,” NASA said.
One strain of yeast tested in space is naturally occurring. The other was chosen due to problems with DNA repair.
“By comparing how the two strains respond to the radiation environment in deep space, researchers will learn more about the health risks posed to humans during long-term exploration and potential health risks,” NASA said. We will be able to develop well-informed strategies to mitigate the damage.”