Around 50 years ago, the last man was on the moon - now the US space agency Nasa is pushing ahead with its next mission to the moon. A first unmanned test flight of the "Artemis" mission should start today (from 2:33 p.m. CEST).
Shortly before the start of the unmanned "Artemis" mission to the moon, the US space agency Nasa reported problems with one of the engines. It has not yet reached the required target temperature, spokesman Derrol Nail said on Monday about half an hour before the scheduled start. It is being tried with the help of several calculation models to solve the problem, it said. The start is currently stopped unplanned, Nasa announced on Twitter about twenty minutes before the start of the launch period.
The "Orion" capsule is to take off from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome with the help of the "Space Launch System" heavy-duty rocket, then orbit the moon and land again in the Pacific around 40 days later. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff are also expected at the launch in Cape Canaveral, the White House said.
Problems with first tests
With the "Artemis" mission, US astronauts were supposed to land on the moon again by 2024, including a woman for the first time. This is now planned for 2025 at the earliest. Four astronauts are to be taken to lunar orbit in the Orion spacecraft, where two of them will then transfer to a landing vehicle. A kind of space station is also to be created on the moon, also as a basis for a manned flight to Mars - but this will only happen in the distant future.
In 1972 the last man was on the moon
The last person to walk on the moon was US astronaut Eugene Cernan, who died in 2017, on the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.
This time there are two dolls on board "Orion": Zohar and Helga. This is a project with German and Israeli participation. It is being tested whether a protective vest developed in Israel can effectively protect a female body in particular from dangerous space radiation.
More than 30 billion dollars are estimated for the "Artemis" mission. In addition to NASA and the European Space Agency Esa, the space agencies of several other countries are also involved.