They are necessary for the development of computer models and the structure of the habitable capsule.
The 6.3-ton test capsule, where the crew will stay during the flight to the Moon and return to Earth, was dropped at 14: 03 East Coast time into a special tank about 6 m deep at the NASA test site in Virginia. More than 500 sensors were installed on the vehicle to measure loads and other indicators when landing at a speed of about 15-35 km / h, which corresponds to the planned speed of collision with water when the capsule returns to Earth. “It seems that the behavior of the capsule is in line with our expectations,” said NASA analyst Jacob Putnam immediately after testing the device.
These tests, which started on March 23, are being conducted to study computer models and the habitable capsule structure.
In the spring of 2019, NASA announced the project of the Artemis lunar program, which will consist of three stages. The first of them (Artemis 1) provides an uncrewed flight of the Orion spacecraft installed on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket around the Moon and its return to Earth. The second stage (Artemis 2) is a flyby of the Earth’s natural satellite with the crew on board. In the third phase of the mission (Artemis 3), NASA expects to land astronauts on the Moon in 2024 and then send them to Mars approximately in the mid-2030s. The first stage of the program is scheduled for this year, the second for 2023.