NASA is all prepped up to go back on the Moon. The space agency will on Tuesday roll out the Artemis 1 Space Launch System (SLS) to the launch pad of Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA has said that it is targeting the rollout at 9 pm EDT, which is 6:30 am (Wednesday) according to the Indian Standard Time.
Artemis I Launch Date and Time
The launch is scheduled for August 29 as per NASA’s official website. “NASA is targeting as soon as 9 pm EDT of Tuesday, Aug.16 for rollout of @NASA_SLS ahead of a targeted Aug. 29 #Artemis I Launch,” the space agency wrote in a tweet.
If everything goes according to the plan, SLS, along with an uncrewed Orion capsule placed on its top will launch during a two-hour window that starts at 8:33 a.m. ET. The mission is quite important as it is going to be the first time that a long-duration biology experiment will be carried out in deep space. Sounds interesting? Here are rest of the details:
What is Artemis I mission? And why is it significant?
In a series of extremely complex missions to the Moon, Artemis I is the first uncrewed flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft. Artemis missions are going to prepare humans for travelling to farther and longer-duration missions to destinations like Mars. It is important to note that a shoebox-sized CubeSat, as NASA describes it, called the BioSentinel, will also perform the first long-duration biology experiment in deep space. These experiments will help gain knowledge about the health risks in deep space posed by space radiation.
What will BioSentinel do?
The BioSentinel will carry microorganisms in the form of yeast. Its main job is to monitor the vital signs of yeast so that they can observe the effect of deep space radiation on them. It is important because yeast cells have similar biological mechanisms to human cells. Thus, needless to say, this experiment will help NASA understand the risks of space radiation to humans. The space agency can then accordingly plan crewed exploration missions to the Moon and beyond.
According to NASA’s website, after a few hours of launch, SLS will deploy the BioSentinel in space. A few days later, the CubeSat will move past the Moon and fly the rest of its mission orbiting around the Sun. Once there, the team of BioSentinel will trigger the yeast studies which would be about a week-long. BioSentinel will then transfer the scientific data to Earth via NASA’s Deep Space Network.