Lunar Lander Mockup by Blue Origin Has Been Completed for NASA: What is Next?
Here, you will get to know all the info that reveals the details regarding the completion of the long-awaited Lunar Lander mockup within the Artemis program by NASA. Discover the following:
· Testing process of the Lunar Lander mockup by Blue Origin and why we need it;
· About the Artemis project and the steps NASA plans to take to finally implement it.
If the subject truly interests you, in this article, you will definitely find out exciting details on that. In case your startup is connected with aerospace design , this article may serve as an inspiration for you to start implementing your tech dream.
Everybody knows about Elon Musk’s plan to make trips to the Moon a daily routine for people. His engineering teams create breathtaking solutions to bring the aerospace industry to the super high level. As a proof, get acquainted with such articles as Launch of Space X Dragon Spacecraft for the Final Cargo Mission 2019 and The Boring Company Has Completed the Second Tunnel beneath Las Vegas .
One more reputable player in this industry, NASA, makes titanic efforts to impress the world by their incredible solutions to bring space into the lives of ordinary people.
This time, let’s get acquainted with the collaboration of Blue Origin and NASA that resulted in the design of the Lunar Lander mockup. It seems that the trip of the first ordinary passenger to the Moon is fast approaching!
Land Lunar Mockup for the Artemis Project
NASA’s goal to land on the moon continues in a partnership with Blue Origin. In August 2020, the Artemis Human Landing System lander has been settled in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (Building 9 in NASA Johnson Space Center). The mockup is ready for testing.
This event is a strategic step that makes the implementation of the Artemis project closer.
For those who are a little out of the loop, NASA’s ambition within the Artemis project is to land the first ordinary woman (then, a man) on the lunar South Pole surface. This is expected to occur by 2024 during the Artemis 3 mission. The last presupposes that a team of astronauts launches in the Orion Crew Capsule on the Space Launch System rocket. By 2028 NASA is going to set up a human exploration of the Moon like never before.
The companies designed the Lunar Lander mockup to allow NASA’s team of engineers and astronauts to explore the vehicle’s layout, involving the location of all the components, and receive feedback while the vehicle is in an early stage of design.
What does Land Lunar mockup look like? The prototype is considered a full-scale engineered miracle.
The 12-meter-tall engineering mockup involves two components of the multiple-element architecture designed by the National Team:
· The Ascent Element (AE). The construction is based on Lockheed Martin’s Orion crew exploration vehicles. The last will deliver astronauts to the Moon and back;
· The Descent Element (DE). Its design is founded on a Blue Origin sample taken from their robotic cargo lander.
Several other elements include the following:
· The Transfer Element (TE). This is considered a propulsive phase. It brings the lander to its descent trajectory from lunar orbit. It is designed based on the Cygnus vehicle by the Northrop Grumman;
· Draper provides engineers with both avionics and descent guidance.
The mockup is viewed as an upgrade to the Lunar Module designed by Apollo. The mockup will be implemented to confirm the approaches of engineers regarding delivering crew, supplies, equipment, and samples on and off the lander.
Testing Specifics of Lunar Lander Mockup
According to Brent Sherwood, vice president of advanced development programs at Blue Origin, Lunar Lander Mockup will be considered according to the following types of assessment:
· Cabin ergonomics including displays and controls inside the vehicle;
· Viewing angles from the cabin.
The assessment procedure will involve specialists in space suits that will evaluate the things by getting in and out of Lunar Land mockup with all types of accesses to equipment. Such tests are a must-have because they allow engineers to receive feedback regarding the design at a stage where it takes minimum time and effort to fix things. They also provide specialists with the idea of what to do next.
Despite the companies use all the advances of virtual reality (VR), their engineering teams explain that it is essential to have a physical construction like Land Lunar mockup for enhancing the lander’s design. VR systems can’t reveal all the details, so it is an ideal solution to possess such a mockup.
Land Lunar mockup will serve to cope with such cases as the location of windows and other constituents that influence the overall structure of the lander. So, as soon as the mockup fulfills its mission, the companies will start manufacturing the lander.
The testing procedure will be finished mainly via simulations to receive real-life feedback. Currently, the Land Lunar mockup doesn’t function fully. However, coupled with its full-size elements, the descent as well as ascent components are involved to approach the sense of reality.
To have the warranty that everything gets ready within a short time (before the start of Artemis missions I and II), engineers must assess the lander “face-to-face.” They state that it won’t take so much time.
If something goes bad, simulations as well as testing is expected to be finished by the beginning of 2021. During this time, the Land Lunar mockup remains at Johnson Space Center. The National Team will be developing the lander depending on the permanent feedback given by NASA.
To sum up, let’s recollect that the last manned mission to the Moon was performed by Apollo 17 in 1972. So, now, we are all looking forward to 2024!