So We Went Back to The Moon

By NoFortunateSon | 22 November 2022
Daily Kos

Image courtesy of NASA, taken yesterday, 21 November.

We all know Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the lunar surface, Gene Cernan stepping off the lunar surface December 14, 1972, with the following quote:

Bob, this is Gene, and I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come—but we believe not too long into the future—I’d like to just (say) what I believe history will record: that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.

Almost 50 years later, in the early AM hours last Wednesday, November 16, NASA launched its brand new lunar rocket.

This rocket is massive. It just leapt off the launch pad and blew the doors off the launch complex on the way up. Watch it again in slow motion.

The Space Launch System (SLS) isn’t just another rocket. It is the most powerful rocket ever launched, being 15% more powerful than the Saturn V, which was until now the most powerful machine ever built. Just how powerful is the SLS? It can put 95 metric tons in Low Earth Orbit and 27 metric tons into lunar orbit. The Space Shuttle, in contrast, could put only about 29 metric tons into Low Earth OrbitFuture configurations can do even more, and will feature a payload fairing of 10m! It has the power output equivalent to ever train locomotive in the United States running at once.

Where’s the Orion capsule now? A distant lunar retrograde orbit that will make it the furthest human rated spacecraft from Earth, ever.

It is expected to return home December 11.

There is controversy over the Space Launch System. The SLS rocket recycles older technology, is not reusable, and saw cost overruns and delays. Those are all true. But with current materials and technology, you can be reusable or have massive capacity, not both. And the SLS is in the latter category. So let’s celebrate Joe Biden and NASA returning the United States to the moon 50 years later.  Artemis 2, which will place more than just mannequins in the Orion Spacecraft, is scheduled for launch May 2024. So in the mean time, let’s celebrate NASA and President Joe Biden for what was accomplished. Here is the launch again in slow motion.

#Artemis1 Incredible Audio & Slow Motion 4K Compilation

Nasa’s Artemis spacecraft arrives at the Moon – BBC News

Nasa’s Artemis spacecraft sends back images of Moon and Earth – BBC News

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