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Artemis-1 countdown begins

NASA engineers have begun the countdown for an August 29, 2022 launch of its SLS rocket during a two-hour launch window that opens at 8:33 am (Eastern).

At present weather is 70% favorable for launch.

The official live stream can be found here, if you are inclined to spend your weekend listening to NASA’s PR.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

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Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

37 comments

  • pawn

    Does anyone know when cryo loading starts?

  • Edward

    pawn,
    I found this countdown timeline. It looks like, slow filling begins a little after L minus 8 hours and fast filling begins a little before L minus 7 hours.
    https://www.nasa.gov/content/artemis-i-launch-countdown-101

    Oh, look! Howard was right. They use “L minus.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9JWpAh9Xcc#t=10 (1 minute: The Big Bang Theory, Howard launches model rocket)

  • Jeff Wright

    Nice to see folks looking forward to America sending man-rated spacecraft beyond Earth orbit:
    https://redstate.com/smoosieq/2022/08/26/moore-to-the-point-to-the-moon-n618119

    https://www.al.com/news/2022/08/artemis-moon-rocket-awaits-mondays-first-step-back.html

    If it were up to libertarians and their bad attitudes, we wouldn’t have this victory.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Wow, that’s a terrible article, complete with condescension and and ugly putdowns from the Old Guard.

    And if they light the SRBs 30 seconds early… that’s gonna be spectacular. :)

  • David Eastman

    “Nice to see folks looking forward to America sending man-rated spacecraft beyond Earth orbit:”

    Given that this Orion capsule is a rather low fidelity sample and has no life support systems onboard at all, I sure hope NASA doesn’t consider it “man-rated” On the other hand, the Astronaut Safety Panel is so inconsistent, maybe they do.

  • GaryMike

    “I” alert!

    I was 3yo when Sputnik launched and orbited. Too young to notice.

    I had finished my freshman year of high school when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

    I was midway through my first planetarium job when I was physically present at the first launch and landing of the Space Shuttle.

    Defining moments in my personal history.

    I am finding no matching reason to brag about experiencing the launch and mission of Artemis. Just a big yawn.

    I have more emotion for yesterday’s SpaceX starlink launch.

    If I was some barn’s weather vane today, I would be pointing in no particular direction for no particular reason.

    Artemis is equally pointless.

  • LocalFluff

    Wiki: “Originally planned for late 2016, the uncrewed first flight of SLS has slipped more than sixteen times and more than five years.”

    How many believe that it will happen this time? Anyway, it would launch some interesting small sats to study the Moon. Quite an overkill.

  • LocalFluff

    Unrelated but fun, here’s crazy guy on a rocket bike of sorts in the desert. He drives it until it melts.
    https://youtu.be/H26f8uGP20Y?t=1

  • LocalFluff

    Doesn’t the Orion capsule have any life support system!?? Then they reasonably will have to make another test launch for the Orion’s sake. God damn it! NASA willfully refuses to do things right.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I seriously do not think we would be talking about a launch tomorrow if the Trump admin had not pushed to get the program back on track. I think everyone was quite content to let the jobs program linger. In fact, if I recall there were even articles that the Trump Admin was pushing too hard.

    You will not hear that in the press, of course. All you will hear is how Biden got us here.

  • Mitch S.

    I assume Patrick Underwood is referring to the al.com article Jeff Wright linked to.
    That article makes me imagine what an article about French generals touring the Maginot line in late 1938 might have been like.
    “For a real military you need big guns and bunkers. Hitler, that innovative new German leader can be useful. His mobile tanks and airplanes can be used to keep the Soviets in check…”

    These folks have to know that if/when Starship/SH starts full orbital (and beyond) missions SLS is completely obsolete.
    The DC-7 and Super Connie were good planes but once the 707 took flight… (and the 707 was more expense – Starship/SH is a lot less expensive).
    The cargo ship analogy? Uh those big ships can make as many trips a year as the smaller ones. If they could only make one trip every year or two they never would have been built. So far this year SpaceX’s “small” rockets have put more tonnage in space that China (I think more than Russia and China combined). And Starship/SH isn’t small.

    But I do hope the launch is successful and the folks in AL get their moment to smile.

    “The rocket we’re building has been consistent since the beginning”
    Can’t argue with that, it’s sucked up a lot of time and money and hasn’t gone anywhere!

  • LocalFluff

    A joke from WW1 went: When the US entered the war, an American General explained what had to be done to win. A French General answered:
    “- Yes, okay, that all sounds practically very sound. But how will it work in theory?”
    Some kind of attitude like that seems to be around in NASA and the Military Industrial Congressional Complex (which was what Ike first called it, and then was advised to shorten it in order to avoid a conflict with Congress).

  • John

    I got 5 bucks that says the thing kabooms.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Mitch S., yep correct. I’m getting up at 6am MT to watch the launch/postponement/Wickwick Event, because it’s a giant rocket sending a capsule to the Moon… but I’ll watch fully expecting that very soon, SpaceX is going to crush it like an elephant stepping on an empty soda can.

    Currently reading Lori Garver’s book. Pretty amazing story of how we got saddled with SLS/Orion. Certainly don’t agree with her on everything, but her assessment of this boondoggle is spot-on.

  • Jeff Wright

    I like having that hydrolox infrastructure just in case. I want the core for wet workshops…a different kind of reuse…

  • Mike Borgelt

    “I got 5 bucks that says the thing kabooms.”

    So long as there is no damage to the pad, it’s all OK..

  • wayne

    For my money–if they even launch today, it’s going to explode.

  • wayne

    Excuse me if I haven’t been paying really close attention for the past 10-15 years…

    Question:
    Where is the second version, of this rocket?

  • wayne

    Edward-
    Nice Bang Theory clip.

  • Gealon

    No bang today, barring an accident during de-tanking.

  • Matthew

    Andddd it’s scrubbed

  • LocalFluff

    Wrong temperature in main engine 3 during hydrogen engine bleed, I gather. I wonder if that means that they might have to disassemble the engine or replace it. In that case it seems the next launch attempt won’t happen until next year. The 18th time it might work! Starship could launch first after all.

  • pzatchok

    Did I hear correctly?

    The Artemis capsule only has life support for 21 days but the trip around the moon will take 40?

    And they actually placed a female dummy on board with softer ‘flesh and bones’ to better simulate human females? Wow, the lbgtqx2 community is going to be ticked off!

  • George C

    LocalFluff: yes, and then there was the comment that said: “this was something that we would have liked to test during the wet dress …”
    So now this has got me saying a prayer about getting help with burdens attributed to Maximilian Kolbe.
    Oh, now the launch is scrubbed.

  • Jeremy, Alabama

    Oh well. So the billion dollar vehicle is still sitting on the pad instead of in the Atlantic.

  • Edward

    wayne asked: “Where is the second version, of this rocket?

    Still in the future. I wonder whether we will find it when we get there.

    pzatchok asked: “The Artemis capsule only has life support for 21 days but the trip around the moon will take 40?

    This trip will be 40 days. A manned flight is intended to dock with the lunar space station, so 21 days of life support aboard Orion is sufficient.

    Jeff Wright wrote: “I like having that hydrolox infrastructure just in case.

    Sincehydrogen has presented many problems in the past (on the Space Shuttle, and even during the Apollo 11 countdown), and since a hydrogen leak was the reason for this morning’s scrub, I understand SpaceX’s reluctance to use hydrolox. I keep wondering whether SpaceX will change this reluctance once lunar water starts being electrolyzed for interplanetary propellant. The alternative, since carbon is not common on the Moon, is to launch carbon from Earth to use to make methane from the electrolyzed hydrogen (a use for SpinLaunch?).

  • Patrick Underwood

    Stuff like this happens, to every group nutty enough to call itself a “launch provider.”

    On the other hand… AFAIK all these engines flew multiple Shuttle flights starting in the 1990s. We taxpayers then handed AJR hundreds of $M per engine to “upgrade” them by making them non-reusable (so NASA can proudly toss four historic mechanical artworks in the ocean every few years). And the whole thing is so expensive and unwieldy they can’t test it adequately, and if they don’t make it go sometime in the next couple weeks, they have to spend a day and untold amounts of money rolling it back indoors to spend several days SWITCHING OUT A BATTERY. Read that again; I still find it hard to grasp, and it’s only one of the minor derailments in this train wreck. Kafka’s skull is grinning wide at the appreciation of his genius and foresight displayed by our leviathan revolving-door government-industrial-executive complex.

    Note that if they finally launch this thing, they won’t get to test a second full stack on the pad for THREE. YEARS. Which is the timespan during which a less dysfunctional NASA sent six successful human lander missions to the Moon.

  • Ray Van Dune

    My understanding is that the failure today (Monday) is in the chilldown venting of one of the four main engines, and that this was not previously tested in the last wet dress rehearsal. It could have been tested, but a prior failure in the WDR prevented the test from reaching that step.

    It was decided that the remaining steps would remain untested, as they would be an acceptable risk. The chilldown was not a safety issue, since the launch would not occur if it did not function correctly. And it did not.

    Earliest it can go again is Thursday, assuming the problem can be fixed at the pad. If SLS has to go back to the VAB, then it’s a whole new ball game, as the decision will have to be made whether SLS can be fixed and then launched before the FTS batteries must be replaced. May not be possible.

    If it goes back to the VAB, I can see Elon Musk spitting on his hands, and putting the pedal to the metal!

  • Richard M

    Jeff:

    “I like having that hydrolox infrastructure just in case.”

    And today, we saw the price (well, one of the prices) of using hydrolox. As Wayne Hale put it, “Use the Shuttle engines, get the Shuttle constraints.”

  • Richard M

    pzatchok,

    The Artemis capsule only has life support for 21 days but the trip around the moon will take 40?

    42 days, at least on this launch period, because they’re doing a distant retrograde orbit. But this Orion actually doesn’t have the complete life support system on board anyway – they didn’t feel the need to test it on Artemis I.

    I think the official rating of the ECLSS is still 21 days (for 4 astronauts), but I think the point is that this is all that’s necessary, because neither Artemis 2 or Artemis 3 will last that long anyway, and the subsequent Artemis missions would see the Orion docked to the Gateway.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Question about the current version of the Orion life-support system – I have heard both:
    A. It lacks significant components and functionality of the future Artemis II version, or
    B. It lacks the endurance of the Artemis II version, but is essentially functionally complete.

    Heard NASA spokesman say they are testing all the critical systems with this flight, but that does not comport with interpretation A above! Which?

  • Richard M

    Localfluff:

    Wrong temperature in main engine 3 during hydrogen engine bleed, I gather. I wonder if that means that they might have to disassemble the engine or replace it. In that case it seems the next launch attempt won’t happen until next year.

    Well….not necessarily. Apparently an engine swap takes 5-6 weeks. It has to be rolled back to the VAB, but then, that would be necessary anyway to replace the FTS. They might still be able to make the Oct. 17-31 launch period. There’s one in November after that which should be doable.

    I mean, unless they find some othe major hitch.

  • Richard M

    Ray:

    Heard NASA spokesman say they are testing all the critical systems with this flight, but that does not comport with interpretation A above!

    Answer: “Don’t sweat it. Life support isn’t a critical system.”

    More seriously, I suppose this has to be an asterixed answer. I’ve always been puzzled why they didn’t think it worth testing out the full ECLSS on this test flight. They did that with Apollo, after all.

  • pawn

    Richard,

    The objective has always been to milk it, not launch it.

  • sippin_bourbon

    “My understanding is that the failure today (Monday) is in the chilldown venting of one of the four main engines, and that this was not previously tested in the last wet dress rehearsal. It could have been tested, but a prior failure in the WDR prevented the test from reaching that step.

    It was decided that the remaining steps would remain untested, as they would be an acceptable risk. The chilldown was not a safety issue, since the launch would not occur if it did not function correctly. And it did not.”

    Boeing learned the hard way that improper rehearsals have consequences with Starliner OFT-1. This should serve as a warning not to make assumptions about how important it is to test something. Just because the consequences of the risk does not include “loss of vehicle or crew” does not mean it should not be tested/mitigated.

  • Richard M

    pawn,

    Oh, they’ve milked it, all right.

  • Andi

    ” They might still be able to make the Oct. 17-31 launch period. There’s one in November after that which should be doable. ”

    … with the boosters nearly a year past their use-by date.

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