In an announcement on Tuesday, NASA revealed that the spacecraft it will launch as part of its Artemis I lunar mission has passed key certification tests, paving the way for the agency’s hopeful launch in 2024. The Artemis I will involve the Orion spacecraft, as well as the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Exploration Ground Systems programs. Artemis I will be followed shortly after by a second mission aptly named Artemis II.
NASA is working hard toward the goal of returning humans to the Moon by 2024, a process that includes the space agency’s Orion Program. Under this program, the space agency recently certified its Artemis I spacecraft systems, evaluating (and confirming) them as suitable for flight and all of the related activities.
The System Acceptance Review and Design Certification Review was extensive, evaluating the spacecraft and related systems for their ability to fly into space, as well as their suitability for getting to the Moon and eventually returning home in a safe, recoverable way. Every single spacecraft system was examined, according to NASA, including analysis of test data, inspection reports, and similar things.
This is the final formal milestone the spacecraft must pass before it can be integrated with the SLS rocket system, NASA explains. The review and subsequent certification covers the complete spacecraft development and is a key part of the Artemis effort.
In addition to certifying the spacecraft, NASA says this review also certified the related operations manuals, production quality and management systems, analyses of safety and reliability, and more. Artemis I will represent the first integrated test flight involving both the SLS and the Orion spacecraft.