NASA’s Artemis-1 mission launches successfully: What is on board of the rocket?

Science by: Valentin Saitarli
NASA’s Artemis-1 mission launches successfully: What is on board of the rocket?

Artemis -1 Mission is carrying on board the following systems

The E-TBEx CubeSat, short for Electrostatic Tether Boris Experiment, will try out a new way to generate electrical power in space. The CubeSat is equipped with an electrodynamic tether, which is basically a wire that will be strung out behind the CubeSat as it orbits the Earth. The wire will be moving relative to the Earth’s magnetic field, and that relative motion will generate an electrical current in the wire. That current can then be used to power the CubeSat’s systems or, in this case, to charge up batteries that can be used later.

The LightSail 2 CubeSat, built by the Planetary Society, will test out the viability of using solar sails for propulsion. Solar sails work by reflecting sunlight, and the momentum of that reflected light pushes on the sail and, by extension, on the spacecraft. The sails on LightSail 2 are just a few micrometers thick, and they’re made of mylar, the same material as party balloons. The sails are deployed once the CubeSat is in space, and the spacecraft uses its onboard camera to take pictures of the sails as they deploy.

The Lunar Flashlight CubeSat will search for water ice on the Moon. It’s equipped with a highly sensitive infrared camera that can detect the presence of water ice, even in very small quantities. The camera will sweep back and forth across the lunar surface, looking for telltale signs of water ice.

The Lunar IceCube CubeSat will also search for water ice on the Moon, but it will do so using a different method. IceCube will use radio waves to look for water ice, specifically looking for areas where the radio waves bounce off the surface in a particular way that is indicative of the presence of water ice.

The Odin CubeSat is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Swedish Space Corporation. It’s equipped with a spectrometer that will be used to study the environment around the Moon. Specifically, Odin will be looking for atoms and molecules that have been ionized, which can tell us a lot about the radiation environment and the potential hazards that astronauts would face on a future mission to the Moon.

The Hermes CubeSat, built by the Australian National University, is a technology demonstration mission. It’s testing out a new type of communications system that uses optical rather than radio waves. The idea is that optical communications could be much higher bandwidth than radio, which would be a huge boon for future missions that need to send a lot of data back to Earth.

The Lunar Surface CubeSat is, as its name suggests, a CubeSat that will be deployed to the surface of the Moon. Once on the surface, it will take pictures of its surroundings and collect data on the lunar environment, specifically the temperature and the radiation environment.

All of these CubeSats are just a small part of the science that’s going on with Artemis 1. The mission is also carrying a number of other experiments, including a radiation phantom that will help us understand the radiation environment that astronauts will face on a future mission to the Moon. There’s also an experiment to study the effects of microgravity on algae, and another to test out a new type of solar cell.

Artemis 1 is just the first step in NASA’s plans to return to the Moon, and eventually to send astronauts to Mars.

This article was created by Artificial Intelligence

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