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Return to the Moon: Launch of the Artemis 1 rocket

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Launch of the SLS rocket of Artemis 1, the first unmanned mission of the Artemis program, directed to lunar orbit. The launch of NASA’s Space Launch System took place from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. After a long wait, therefore, a mission begins in which European and Italian technology also plays a leading role for the return to the Moon.

The four solar panels of the Orion capsule, built by Lockheed Martin for NASA and whose European Service Module (ESM) was created by the European Space Agency (ESA), were deployed as planned. In an X configuration, the solar panels are ready to begin charging the energy the capsule will need for the journey to lunar orbit. They were built in Italy, like much of the technology on board the Orion capsule, through collaboration between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and industry.

Return to the Moon: Orion panels built in Italy

The European service module has the task of supplying electricity, propulsion, thermal control, air and water to the vehicle; the photovoltaic panels and the power distribution and control units were manufactured by Leonardo, while Thales Alenia Space (67% Thales and Leonardo 33% joint venture) was responsible for the structure and critical subsystems of the module, including micrometeor protection and thermal control. In addition to participating in the Orion service module, Italy is represented in the mission by the small satellite Argomoon, built for ASI by the company Argotec of Turin.

Artemis 1: the road to our satellite

The Artemis 1 mission has completed the maneuver that allowed it to leave Earth orbit and enter the trajectory to the Moon, thanks to the thrust received by the upper stage of the SLS rocket. This is the second crucial moment of the mission, after the launch. “This is an important moment as the vehicle has broken free from Earth and is now on the final trajectory that will allow it to arrive in the vicinity of the Moon and perform further maneuvers to enter lunar orbit. “, as Bernardo Patti reports to Ansa, responsible for the exploration programs of the European Space Agency (ESA).

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