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NASA During a ceremony in Washington Nov. 30, Angola became the 33rd country to sign the Artemis Accords.
The Artemis Accords establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations, including those participating in NASA’s Artemis program.
NASA, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, established the Artemis Accords in 2020 together with seven other original signatories. Since then, the Accords signatories have held focused discussions on how best to implement the Artemis Accords principles.
The Artemis Accords reinforce and implement key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. They also strengthen the commitment by the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as best practices and norms of responsible behavior NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data.
More countries are expected to sign the Artemis Accords in the months and years ahead, as NASA continues to work with its international partners to establish a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space. Working with both new and existing partners adds new energy and capabilities to ensure the entire world can benefit from our journey of exploration and discovery.
Learn more about the Artemis Accords at:
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Architecture Concept Review attendees listen to welcome remarks from NASA leadership on Nov. 14, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Attendees included representatives from all of NASA’s centers, leaders from all of NASA’s mission directorates, various technical authorities, and other stakeholders across the agency. NASA/Kim Shifflett NASA hosted its second annual Architecture Concept Review in mid-November, bringing together leaders from across the agency to discuss progress on and updates to NASA’s Moon to Mars architecture since NASA released outcomes from its first such review in April.
As NASA builds a blueprint for human exploration throughout the solar system for the benefit of humanity, the agency has established the internal Architecture Concept Review process to help align NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy and codify the supporting architecture through robust analysis. Through this evolutionary process, NASA continuously updates its roadmap for crewed exploration, setting humanity on a path to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
NASA leadership gives opening remarks at the review. From left to right: Casey Swails, deputy associate administrator; Catherine Koerner, deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate; Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate; and Pam Melroy, deputy administrator. NASA/Kim Shifflett “Our yearly strategic analysis cycle informs architecture decisions by identifying technology gaps, performing trade studies, and soliciting feedback from industry, academia, and the international community,” said Catherine Koerner, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “This year’s review focused on identifying the foundational decisions needed for a crewed mission to Mars and adding more detail to how we break down our objectives for long-term lunar exploration into specific architectural elements.”
During the review, NASA also began to define potentially viable and affordable opportunities for new programs and projects that close capability gaps.
NASA will share the results of this year’s Architecture Concept Review cycle early next year. This will include an update to the agency’s Architecture Definition Document and associated white papers, which provide additional detail on results from this year’s strategic analysis cycle.
Both the updated Architecture Definition Document and white papers will be made available on NASA’s Moon to Mars architecture webpages.
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Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
NASA completed a full duration, 650-second hot fire of the RS-25 certification engine Nov. 29, continuing a critical test series to support future SLS (Space Launch System) missions to deep space as NASA explores the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all. Danny Nowlin NASA completed a full duration, 650-second hot fire of the RS-25 certification engine Nov. 29, continuing a critical test series to support future SLS (Space Launch System) missions to deep space as NASA explores the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all. Danny Nowlin NASA completed a full duration, 650-second hot fire of the RS-25 certification engine Nov. 29, continuing a critical test series to support future SLS (Space Launch System) missions to deep space as NASA explores the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all. Danny Nowlin NASA conducted the third RS-25 engine hot fire in a critical 12-test certification series Nov. 29, demonstrating a key capability necessary for flight of the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket during Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond.
NASA is conducting the series of tests to certify new manufacturing processes for producing RS-25 engines for future deep space missions, beginning with Artemis V. Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies Company and lead engines contractor for the SLS rocket, is incorporating new manufacturing techniques and processes, such as 3D printing, in production of new RS-25 engines.
Crews gimbaled, or pivoted, the RS-25 engine around a central point during the almost 11-minute (650 seconds) hot fire on the Fred Haise Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The gimbaling technique is used to control and stabilize SLS as it reaches orbit.
During the Nov. 29 test, operators also pushed the engine beyond any parameters it might experience during flight to provide a margin of operational safety. The 650-second test exceeded the 500 seconds RS-25 engines must operate to help power SLS to space. The RS-25 engine also was fired to 113% power level, exceeding the 111% level needed to lift SLS to orbit.
The ongoing series will stretch into 2024 as NASA continues its mission to return humans to the lunar surface to establish a long-term presence for scientific discovery and to prepare for human missions to Mars.
Four RS-25 engines fire simultaneously to generate a combined 1.6 million pounds of thrust at launch and 2 million pounds of thrust during ascent to help power each SLS flight. NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne modified 16 holdover space shuttle main engines, all proven flightworthy at NASA Stennis, for Artemis missions I through IV.
Every new RS-25 engine that will help power SLS also will be tested at NASA Stennis. RS-25 tests at the site are conducted by a combined team of NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Syncom Space Services operators. Syncom Space Services is the prime contractor for Stennis facilities and operations.
Stay connected with the mission on social media, and let people know you’re following it on X, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtags #Artemis, #NASAStennis, #SLS. Follow and tag these accounts:
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Last Updated Nov 29, 2023 EditorNASA Stennis CommunicationsContactC. Lacy Thompsoncalvin.firstname.lastname@example.org / (228) 688-3333LocationStennis Space Center Related Terms
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By Space Force
The Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, in partnership with the United States Space Force and SpaceX, is making final preparations to launch the seventh mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. Due to launch delays and pad availability, USSF-52 will now launch on Dec. 10, 2023.
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NASA/Charles Beason Artemis II NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, and Christina Koch of NASA, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen signed the Orion stage adapter for the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Nov. 27. The hardware is the topmost portion of the SLS rocket that they will launch atop during Artemis II when the four astronauts inside NASA’s Orion spacecraft will venture around the Moon.
From left, Artemis II astronauts Jeremy Hansen, Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Reid Wiseman sign the SLS Orion stage adapter for the Artemis II mission during their visit to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Nov. 27.
Image credits: NASA/Charles Beason
The Orion stage adapter is a small ring structure that connects NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the SLS rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage and fully manufactured at Marshall. At five feet tall and weighing 1,800 pounds, the adapter is the smallest major element of the SLS rocket. During Artemis II, the adapter’s diaphragm will serve as a barrier to prevent gases created during launch from entering the spacecraft.
NASA is working to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Orion spacecraft, advanced spacesuits and rovers, the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, and commercial human landing systems. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission. Through Artemis, NASA will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and prepare for the next giant leap: sending astronauts to Mars.
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