NASA astronauts test lunar module elevator ahead of Artemis Moon mission

Shawn Knight

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In a nutshell: NASA recently tested a scale mockup of an elevator designed to help astronauts get from the lunar lander to the surface of the Moon. The Starship landing system will be used to transport two astronauts from the Orion spacecraft in orbit around the Moon to its surface. The landing module can support two explorers for up to one week, and can safely transport them back to Orion when their work is done.

As NASA highlighted, the habitable area in Starship is located near the top of the lander, so they need an effective way to get to ground level that doesn't involve taking a leap of faith.

The mockup, built at SpaceX's facility in Hawthorne, California, allowed the astronauts to get a feel for what the finalized hardware will be like, complete with functioning mechanical assemblies and interfaces. NASA astronauts even wore spacesuits during the test to better simulate mobility constraints they'll experience in space.

For Artemis III, NASA went with a new suit being developed by Axiom Space. Luxury fashion giant Prada is also helping out with the design.

The astronauts were also able to provide valuable feedback from a crew perspective, such as how the gate latches and ramp deployment system works when suited up. Valuable information regarding available cargo space was also gleaned from the test – all of which could be used to make changes to the design before it is finalized or to improve future revisions.

With Artemis III, NASA aims to land Americans on the surface of the Moon for the first time in over 50 years. Should everything go according to plan, NASA hopes to put boots back on the Moon sometime before the end of 2025. The week-long mission could include up to four moonwalks, at which time a variety of testing will be performed.

Artemis IV, the fourth planned mission, will be the first to dock with the Lunar Gateway, a space station being built in orbit around the Moon.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Why do they need a complicated elevator to get up and down from the landing module? Why can't they use a simpler winch system with a cable or something similar? Since the moon's gravity is only about 1/6th of Earth's the astronauts and even heavy equipment wouldn't be too difficult to lift this way.

Why must NASA always try to over-engineer even the simplest things and add months/years of delays and then have the stupid thing break down when they actually get there?
 
Gee, in all the 1950's movies I watched, they just used a ladder.
And... it weighs a lot less, too. Are we really getting *that* lazy?
 
Guess what kidz, the moon landing has already been pushed back to 2026, possibly as late as 2027.

It seems Space-X can't get its sh!t together with the booster. ("Falcon extra super duper heavy"). I think that's what it's called, or words to that effect.

Did NASA actually think that Musk would bring in the project within the time frame he initially claimed? Hell, even his "crowning masterpiece", the Cybertruck, was at least two years late.

But yeah, a ladder's really all you need......Still, if you want to keep up with the Commando Codys..............This is the way to go:

rmcody4.png
 
Gee, in all the 1950's movies I watched, they just used a ladder.
And... it weighs a lot less, too. Are we really getting *that* lazy?
A ladder isn't going to be able to facilitate lifting and lowering of heavier equipment, such as an LRV or miscellaneous science equipment.

Guess what kidz, the moon landing has already been pushed back to 2026, possibly as late as 2027.

It seems Space-X can't get its sh!t together with the booster. ("Falcon extra super duper heavy"). I think that's what it's called, or words to that effect.

Did NASA actually think that Musk would bring in the project within the time frame he initially claimed?
Anyone who actually believed any of this would be ready by the end of 2024 is delusional. The early target date was almost certainly for publicity purposes, and was never REALLY expected to work out. Rather just be a "goal" so the more realistic deadline of 2025-2026 could be achieved.
 
A ladder isn't going to be able to facilitate lifting and lowering of heavier equipment, such as an LRV or miscellaneous science equipment.
I didn't think my sense of humor was so obscure, that someone would take me seriously with respect to "necessary equipment", when I posted a picture from a banal 50's sci-fi series of an obviously fake rocket with rickety drop down steps.
Anyone who actually believed any of this would be ready by the end of 2024 is delusional. The early target date was almost certainly for publicity purposes, and was never REALLY expected to work out. Rather just be a "goal" so the more realistic deadline of 2025-2026 could be achieved.
So we're clear, I never expect any time frame within which Musk initially predicts something will happen, it actually will.

If Musk's mouth is moving, he's self either promoting, or trying to sell something. Accordingly, nothing he has "created", or "advertised", or, "promoted in a press release", has ever come in by the time of its original announcement.

As far as his "Starship" goes, he hasn't even been able to get it out of the atmosphere yet.

So, all you're doing with this post is, "stating the obvious".
 
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