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NASA Targeting November 2024 For Artemis II Launch

Along with announcing a target date for Artemis II, NASA also gave many other updates on the Artemis programme.

  • More details coming soon...
Delta V

Delta V

Tue Mar 07 2023Written by Delta V

NASA has given many updates on the Artemis programme in a recent live-streamed teleconference. This included information on the pervious Artemis I launch and the upcoming Artemis II launch.

Artemis I

During the update, NASA confirmed SLS had performed perfectly. Orion was no different with NASA giving it high praise saying "Orion exceeded all performance expectations". The Orion heat shield was noted to have variations in appearance to what was initially expected upon return to Earth. The ablative heat shield material wore away differently from what was expected.

Image credit: Kevin H./The Launch Pad

Artemis II

The update was mostly focused on Artemis 2 so we got a good insight into what's happening with the mission. Probably the most notable announcement was that the NET (No Earlier Than) date was November 2024. All Artemis I avionics have been installed into the Orion capsule for this mission. ESG is also on track for Artemis II.

NASA also mentioned a timeline for the Artemis II stacking:

  • The Core Stage will be shipped to the KSC in June or July

  • Both SLS SRBs will be shipped to the KSC when they're needed

  • The ICPS is in storage at ULA

  • The European Service Module (ESM) will be shipped to the KSC in mid-May

  • The Orion Command Module will be mated to the ESM in June

  • Stacking operations of the SLS full stack will start in 2024

Exploration Ground Systems

Damage from the Artemis I launch was greater than expected but the refurbishment of the ML from the launch is also going well. Damage from the launch included corrosion to pneumatic, air-filled, and cryogenic fueling lines, detached welds on tubing, approximately 60 broken panels and cabinets with instrumentation, and destruction to several lifts and blast shields.

All of this is being repaired and one of the lifts has already returned to operation and additional "hardening" is being considered. SRB residue on the ML has already been completely removed.