There is a connection in Northern California with NASA’s Artemis 1 mission to the Moon

After technical scrubs and delays caused by two different hurricanes, NASA’s Artemis 1 mission successfully launched at 10:47 p.m. PST on Tuesday. Planning for the mission, which aims to increase scientists’ understanding of the effects of long-term deep space travel for humans, began in 2010. An entirely new type of launch vehicle, known as a Space Launch System, was front and center for takeoff. On top was also the new Orion space capsule, designed to eventually carry astronauts to the Moon and beyond. While Artemis 1 is an uncrewed mission, scientists will use this roughly month-long trip to lunar orbit and back as an opportunity to gather data about deep space travel and daily conditions on the lunar surface. This makes Artemis 1 a gateway to new destinations, said Jacob Bleicher, NASA’s chief exploration scientist. “Artemis is really turning the page in a new chapter of space exploration. We’re basically writing the blueprint now for how we’re going to explore the solar system,” Bleached. “We learned how to live in space with the International Space Station. Now we need to learn how to go and live in deep space.” The SLS is the most powerful missile ever built by the United States and it took an enormous amount of cooperation to get it to the launchpad. NASA refers to the SLS as “America’s Rocket,” a reference to the fact that companies from each of the 50 states contributed to the construction in some way. Air and Space Travel: Doug Bradley is Deputy Director of the RS-25 Engine Program at Aerojet Rocketdyne. The RS-25 engines, which have also been used in the space shuttle programs, were just the first of many Aerojet Rocketdyne engines shown Tuesday night, Bradley says. “From the top to the bottom of the missile, we have a role,” Bradley said, and that includes four RS-25 engines, which propel the SLS missile for exactly eight minutes once the boosters are fired. During that time period, a powerful ejection engine was ejected into the missile’s abort system. “It was designed and built in Sacramento, so it’s a great legacy there,” Bradley said. On Wednesday night, all that’s left to track the mission is the Orion space capsule, which is sailing to the moon guided by Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10 engines. According to NASA, Orion should reach its orbital position around the Moon sometime on Tuesday, November 22. Orion will orbit the Moon for several weeks, collecting important data as it orbits and when it’s time to return to Earth’s atmosphere and land in the ocean. December, Aerojet Rocketdyne engines will be on display again. “Our company even has little helium tanks that inflate little buoys on the capsule to keep it upright,” Bradley said with a chuckle. When he says they play “top down,” he means it. Bradley says that even though he’s not from Sacramento himself, he’s honored to represent the area on such a big stage. He said, “I’m proud… everyone is proud of our role in Artemis.” Plans for the Artemis 2 mission, which will include astronauts, are well underway with a launch tentatively expected sometime in 2024.

After technical scrubs and delays caused by two different hurricanes, NASA’s Artemis 1 mission successfully launched at 10:47 p.m. PST on Tuesday.

Planning for the mission, which aims to increase scientists’ understanding of the effects of prolonged deep space travel on humans, began in 2010.

An entirely new type of launch vehicle, known as a Space Launch System, was front and center for takeoff. On top was also the new Orion space capsule, designed to eventually carry astronauts to the Moon and beyond.

While Artemis 1 is an uncrewed mission, scientists will use this roughly month-long trip to lunar orbit and back as an opportunity to gather data about deep space travel and daily conditions on the lunar surface.

This makes Artemis 1 a gateway to new destinations, said NASA chief exploration scientist Jacob Bleicher.

“Artemis is really turning the page on a new chapter of space exploration. We’re basically writing an outline now of how we’re going to explore the solar system,” Bleicher said. “We learned how to live in space with the International Space Station. Now we need to learn how to go and live in deep space.”

The SLS is the most powerful missile ever built by the United States, and it took an enormous amount of cooperation to get it to the launch pad. NASA refers to the SLS as “America’s Rocket,” a reference to the fact that companies from each of the 50 states contributed to the construction in some way.

California had many shareholders, including Sacramento-based Aerojet Rocketdyne, which builds propulsion systems for air and space travel.

Doug Bradley is Deputy Director of the RS-25 Engine Program at Aerojet Rocketdyne. The RS-25 engines, which have also been used in the space shuttle programs, were the first of many Aerojet Rocketdyne engines shown Tuesday night, Bradley says.

“From the top to the bottom of the rocket, we have a role,” Bradley said.

This includes four RS-25 engines, which propel the SLS missile for exactly eight minutes once the boosters are released. Within that time period, a powerful engine was ejected to eliminate the missile’s abort system.

“It’s designed and built in Sacramento, so that’s a great legacy there,” Bradley said.

WATCH: The video shows how the Artemis 1 launch seemed to turn night into day

As of Wednesday night, all that’s left to track the mission is the Orion space capsule, which is sailing to the moon guided by Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10 engines. According to NASA, Orion should reach its orbital position around the moon sometime on Tuesday, November 22.

Orion orbits the Moon for several weeks, collecting important data as it orbits.

When it’s time to return to Earth’s atmosphere and land in the ocean in December, the Aerojet Rocketdyne engines will reappear.

“Our company even has little helium tanks that inflate little buoys on the capsule to keep it upright,” Bradley said with a chuckle.

When he said they have a role “from the top down,” he meant it.

Bradley says that while he’s not from Sacramento himself, he’s honored to be representing the area on such a big stage.

“I am proud… everyone is proud of our role in Artemis,” he said.

Plans for the Artemis 2 mission, which will include astronauts, are well underway with a launch tentatively expected sometime in 2024.

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