Iconic actor Tom Hanks, who once played a lunar astronaut in a film, met four real astronauts about to explore the lunar realms for themselves.
Apollo 13 actor Hanks landed in Houston – where, fortunately, he reported no problems – to meet the crew of Artemis 2. These four astronauts posed with Hanks in front of a model of the craft Orion spacecraft, between training for their mission around the Moon no earlier than 2024, according to NASA officials. reported on (formerly Twitter) Saturday November 18.
In space circles, Hanks is best known for playing NASA astronaut Jim Lovell, the real commander of Apollo 13, in a 1995 Hollywood hit. The film showed how Mission Control, the astronauts’ families and the The crew itself came together to resolve an emergency on the way to the Moon.
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Hanks not only spoke with the Artemis 2 crew, but also stopped by at least two sections of mission control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC): the Apollo program’s Mission Control Center recently updated that saw Apollo 13 and other missions go to the moon, with International Space Station mission control. Hanks even spoke with some of the Expedition 70 astronauts aboard the ISS, NASA reported.
NASA is now resuming human exploration of the Moon with four astronauts who will circumnavigate the Moon: Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch of NASA and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency. NASA leads a growing coalition of international partners in the lunar realms under the Artemis Accords, which also serve as a framework for peaceful space exploration standards.
Before meeting Hanks, three members of the Artemis 2 crew visited NASA’s Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans on November 16. There, they examined the powerful core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will take them into Earth orbit. and finally, to the moon. The visit also marked the first anniversary of the launch of Artemis 1, an uncrewed mission that successfully tested SLS and the Orion spacecraft during its own mission in late 2022.
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It’s been a busy few months for the Artemis 2 crew since they were named in April in a ceremony at Ellington Field, near JSC. The quartet works to learn more about Orion as well as medical procedures, in anticipation of a planned recovery exercise at sea with NASA and the US Navy.
Parts of the Artemis 2 hardware are also being assembled at NASA centers in the United States. At Michoud, the four RS-25 engines that will power the core stage were secured on October 6 after each was attached individually via “soft hardware” on various dates in September.
“Engineers will perform tests on the entire stage as well as its avionics and electrical systems, which act as the ‘brains’ of the rocket to help control it during flight,” NASA officials wrote in october. Once testing is complete, in a few months, the core stage will be transported to the launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center via barge.
Further construction of Artemis 2 is already underway at KSC. Parts of Artemis 2’s two solid boosters arrived by train in September and are being assembled, starting with the rear assembly of each booster to direct the rockets during flight.
The Artemis 2 Orion completed its power-up test on November 6 at KSC, following a crucial contact between the American-made crew module and the European service module. The spacecraft will soon undergo a one- or two-week “closed-loop mission” test to simulate a mission, meaning that “navigation, propulsion and other subsystems respond correctly to maintain the mission’s course.” », Dominique Siruguet, integration and verification of ESM assembly. engineer at the European Space Agency, said in a Nov. 6 statement.