According to a press release by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) contracted the agency to provide Orion tracking support to the historic launch of Artemis I.
The Artemis I mission boasts the most powerful rocket in the world, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the new Orion spacecraft by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Orion’s moon voyage will last over a month with a record total travel distance of 2,092,147.2 Km.
“The Orion tracking support to Artemis I through SSC is a 360-degree moment for SANSA. Our involvement in NASA missions dates back to tracking services provided to the first successful human moon landing mission in 1969. This support was provided from the radio astronomy observatory station established by NASA in Hartebeesthoek,” said Tiaan Strydom, Acting Commercial Services Executive at SANSA.
This complex mission brought together dozens of companies across the United States of America and NASA’s international partners, including the European Space Agency.
“Our preparations for this historic launch involved qualification and testing critical systems, infrastructure reliability analyses, and redundancy simulations. We wanted to leave no room for error”, Strydom commented.
NASA describes Artemis I as an uncrewed flight test for deep space explorations. With this mission, NASA is testing its capabilities to return humans to the moon and its ability to return a spacecraft safely to Earth. The mission also paves the way for future lunar missions and Mars explorations. SANSA is looking forward to supporting future NASA missions to the moon and Mars.
For more information about this initiative and its intended deliverables, kindly contact:
- Emelia Mosima, Communications Practitioner at SANSA; and
- Vaneshree Maharaj, Communications Manager at SANSA.
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