NASA is “Go” to Launch Artemis I on Monday Morning

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Mission Update

The Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s Artemis I mission has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a two-hour launch window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, August 29, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B in Florida. 

Live coverage of events will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Monday, Aug. 22. The launch countdown will begin Saturday, Aug. 27, at 10:23 a.m.

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Artemis I Carries the Future of NASA with It

The Space Launch System rocket fairing with ESA and NASA logos on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. The new ESA logo and NASA’s ‘worm’ logo will be along for the ride on the first full mission of the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Of the six launches known to be scheduled to close out August, there’s only one – Artemis I — that truly matters in any real sense. The others will be duly recorded but little remembered in what could be the busiest launch year in human history.

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NASA Sets Star-studded Launch Coverage for Artemis Mega Moon Rocket Launch to Moon

Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion capsule at Launch Complex 39B. (Credit: NASA)

Jack Black, Chris Evans, Yo-Yo Ma and more to headline launch day coverage

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of prelaunch, launch, and postlaunch activities for Artemis I, the first integrated test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This uncrewed flight test around the Moon will pave the way for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration as part of Artemis.

The SLS rocket is targeted to launch during a two-hour window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 29, from Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy.

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NASA Seeks Student Experiments to Soar in Second TechRise Challenge

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is calling on middle and high school students to join the second NASA TechRise Student Challenge, which invites student teams to develop, build, and launch science and technology experiments on high-altitude balloons.  

Students in grades six to 12 attending U.S. public, private, or charter schools – including those in U.S. territories – are challenged to team up with their schoolmates to design an experiment under the guidance of an educator. Administered by Future Engineers, the NASA TechRise Student Challenge offers hands-on insight into the design and test process used by NASA-supported researchers. It aims to inspire a deeper understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, surface features, and climate, as well as space exploration, coding, electronics, and the value of test data. Teams should submit their experiment ideas by Oct. 24, 2022.  

“We are thrilled to offer the second annual NASA TechRise Student Challenge,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The quality of the experiments and the creativity we saw from students in the last challenge are exactly the kinds of problem-solving and hands-on learning NASA hopes to inspire. We’re eager to see what innovative ideas pour in from students around the nation this year.” 

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NASA Goddard Center Director Shares Plans to Retire

Dennis Andrucyk (Image Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — Dennis Andrucyk, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has announced his intent to retire after more than 36 years of federal service, including multiple leadership roles at NASA and as Goddard’s director since January 2020.

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Saudi Arabia Signs Artemis Accords

WASHINGTON (State Department PR) — The United States welcomes Saudi Arabi’s signing of the Artemis Accords on July 14, affirming its commitment to safe, sustainable, and responsible space exploration.  Mohammed Saud al-Tamimi, CEO of the Saudi Space Commission, signed the Accords on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was joined during a virtual ceremony by Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Ambassador to the United States, Abdullah bin Amer al-Swaha, Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Bill Nelson, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Martina Strong, Chargé d’Affaires for the United States Mission to Saudi Arabia, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer R. Littlejohn from the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

The principles of the Artemis Accords, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, advance the NASA-led Artemis program, which will put the first woman and first person of color on the Moon and prepare the way for a human mission to Mars.  Artemis relies on a broad and diverse international coalition, working together to achieve an historic and ambitious vision for human space exploration.

As Accords signatories, state actors advance responsible behavior in outer space, including through the registration of space objects, deconfliction of activities, release of scientific data, and provision of emergency assistance.  Together, signatories will reduce uncertainty and increase the safety of space operations to facilitate the sustainable use of space to the benefit of all humankind.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the 21st nation to sign the Accords, joining Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  Saudi Arabia is the seventh nation to sign the Artemis Accords since January 2022 and the fourth Middle Eastern nation to join.

For further information on the Artemis Accords, visit https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-accords/index.html.

Decade of Excellence: NASA Named Best Place to Work 10th Year in a Row

WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — For the 10th consecutive year, the Partnership for Public Service has ranked NASA the Best Place to Work in the Federal Government among large agencies.

The rankings, announced Wednesday, reflect the agency’s continuing dedication to supporting and strengthening its workforce while also carrying out its inspirational mission of exploration and discovery for the benefit of all humanity.

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RIT Faculty and Alumni Receive NASA Funding to Develop New Diffractive Solar Sail Concepts

Alumna Amber Dubill receives phase III award from NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program

Diffractive solar sails, depicted in this conceptual illustration, could enable missions to hard-to-reach places, like orbits over the Sun’s poles. (Image Credit: MacKenzi Martin)

ROCHESTER, NY (Rochester Institute of Technology PR) –NASA announced new funding for a project led by Rochester Institute of Technology alumni, faculty, and students that could power spacecraft to orbit the sun’s poles for the first time. The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program will provide Phase III funding to the Diffractive Solar Sailing project led by Amber Dubill ’20 (mechanical engineering), ’20 MS (mechanical engineering) of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.‌

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Artemis Mission Agreement Signed by ASI and NASA on Lunar Surface Module

Italian Space Agency President_Giorgio Saccoccia and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at signing ceremony. (Credit: Italian Space Agency)

ROME (Italian Space Agency PR) — The Italian Space Agency and NASA have signed an agreement for bilateral cooperation. The objective is the realization of a preliminary study dedicated to the development planning of the housing capacities related to the future lunar modules, the Lunar Surface Multi-Purpose Habitation (MPH) Module (s) proposed by ASI, of the Artemis program.

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NASA Administrator Announces Next NAC Meeting, New Members

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Wednesday the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) will convene its next meeting on August 9-10. Nelson also appointed new members to the NAC, who will provide leadership counsel and advice on agency programs and priorities.

“NASA remains a global leader in exploration as a result of having a world-class workforce and the NASA Advisory Council is no different,” said Nelson. “I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments and progress we’ve made to date, and these new additions to the NAC will bring new ideas and solutions to complex problems we face. We are in the midst of another banner year at the agency, and I look forward to hearing from and working with an exceptional NAC.”

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NASA, ESA Finalize Agreements on Climate, Artemis Cooperation

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, right, and ESA (European Space Agency) Director General Josef Aschbacher pose for a photograph following the signing of two agreements at the ESA Council meeting in Noordwijk, Netherlands, June 15, 2022. The agreements aim to further advance the space agencies’ cooperation on Earth science and Artemis missions. (Credits: ESA/S.Corvaja)

NOORDWIJK, Netherlands (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and ESA (European Space Agency) Director General Josef Aschbacher signed two agreements Wednesday at the ESA Council meeting in Noordwijk, Netherlands, further advancing the space agencies’ cooperation on Earth science and Artemis missions.

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From the Earth to the Moon and on to Mars – ESA and NASA take decisions and plan for the future

Noordwijk, The Netherlands (ESA PR) — The next steps in exploring and using space for the benefit of European citizens were this week on the agenda at ESA’s Council meeting in ESA/ESTEC, the Netherlands on 14 and 15 June. The possibility of the first-ever European astronaut to set foot on the Moon, a telecommunication satellite for lunar exploration and a mission to return precious rock samples from Mars were all discussed.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson joined the meeting with ESA Member States in a decisive gesture to advocate for Europe’s strong role in multiple projects which reinforce the enduring partnership between the two leading space agencies.

“From understanding our changing planet to exploring Mars, I hugely value the cooperation we have with NASA” says ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.  “By contributing key European hardware and services to exciting programmes such as Artemis and Mars Sample Return, we are building Europe’s autonomy while also being a reliable partner.”

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NASA Leadership to Advocate for Agency Missions at ESA Council Meeting

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy visited the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Dec. 8, 2021 for tours and briefings on Michoud’s role in the Artemis program and other capabilities that enrich many facets of the nation’s space exploration endeavors. (Credits: NASA/Michael DeMocker)

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy will travel to Noordwijk, Netherlands, to participate in the ESA (European Space Agency) Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 15.

The event will be livestreamed at:

https://esawebtv.esa.int

ESA is one of NASA’s key partners in science and exploration. Nelson and Melroy will address the heads of delegation from the 22 agencies that comprise ESA and advocate for continued, robust funding for NASA-ESA collaboration for the next three to five years, including for Artemis, Mars Sample Return, and Earth science missions.

At the ESA Council, NASA and ESA will also sign two agreements: a strategic partnership in Earth science and a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies on the Lunar Pathfinder mission.

France Signs Artemis Accords as French Space Agency Marks Milestone

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, right, and President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Dr. Philippe Baptiste shake hands following the signing the Artemis Accords Tuesday, June 7, 2022, prior to the CNES 60th Anniversary event at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Washington. France is the twentieth country to sign the Artemis Accords, which establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s Artemis program. (Credits: NASA/Keegan Barber)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — France is the latest country to sign the Artemis Accords, affirming its commitment to  sustainable space exploration that follows a common set of principles promoting beneficial use of space for all of humanity.

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