NASA astronauts sign their moon rocket

It’s certainly the least important part of their preparations, but this week four Artemis II astronauts had the pleasure of signing their names on a part of the launch vehicle that will fly them to the moon a year from now.

NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Reed Wiseman and Christina Koch and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen launch a rocket for the SLS (Space Launch System) at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, earlier this week. Signed Stage Adapter. ,

The stage adapter is the uppermost part of the SLS rocket and sits just below the Orion spacecraft that will carry four astronauts to within about 80 miles of the lunar surface, the first crewed lunar journey since the Apollo missions five decades ago.

During Artemis II launch, the stage adapter’s diaphragm will serve as a barrier to prevent harmful gases created during launch from entering the spacecraft.

A diagram of NASA's SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft.

In the image above, you can see the exact location of the “Orion Stage Adapter”, just above the SLS rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage. The adapter is five feet long and weighs 1,800 pounds, which NASA says makes it “the smallest major element of the SLS rocket.”

Like last year’s Artemis I test mission, the adapter will be jettisoned in the early stages of the mission and fall back to Earth.

Glover, Wiseman, Koch and Hansen are now undergoing extensive training for next year’s 10-day mission, which will take them not only closer to the moon’s surface, but also farther from Earth than any human has ever done before. Must not have traveled.

In August, four astronauts were given the first up-close look at the actual Orion spacecraft that will take them on their epic journey.

A successful mission would pave the way for the first lunar landing since 1972 when NASA plans to place the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface in the Artemis III mission, currently scheduled for 2025. Artemis’s long-term goal program includes building a moon base for long-term stays, exploring more of the lunar surface, and using the Moon as a launchpad for the first crewed mission to Mars.

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