NASA’s New Moon rocket is almost ready for testing. The US space agency held a press conference on this matter yesterday. The lunar rocket will be finally tested on Friday, April 1.
“It’s going to be a big test, but the rocket won’t go up in the air,” says space expert Rob van den Berg of the Sonnenburg observatory in Utrecht. “They would test everything even a few seconds before launching. Then they aborted the launch. So, if all of this worked, NASA knew they could launch the rocket in the summer. At that moment it would soar into the air.”
According to Van den Berg, it will also be a file wet rehearsal mentioned. The moon rocket is already out there. Once tested, the rocket will be completely filled with fuel and oxygen. This is extremely cold, a temperature just above absolute zero. This is a very dangerous and time consuming process. Once the missile is fully loaded, a number of checks and tests are carried out while the watch is in operation. The clock will stop several times just like the actual launch. At some point, the clock stops so that the missile cannot be launched during the test. “If they continue, the engines will start. It is an important test to see if all the systems are working properly, including turning off the rocket and then pumping it again.”
Van den Berg continues: “It is a test drone. The next big test will take place this summer. Then the rocket flies around the moon. This also happens without a drone for safety reasons. If that first test flight goes well, it will be years before a manned rocket flies to the moon.
The return of the astronauts
Today, a Russian capsule lands on Earth with two cosmonauts and American astronaut Mark Vande He. Vande Hei did not stay on the ISS according to normal procedure. Typically, an astronaut stays in space for six months, but NASA has asked him to stay for another six months. This makes him the US record holder, as he spent the most consecutive days in space.
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