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Orion stretches its wings ahead of first crewed Artemis mission
View a time lapse of teams extending the solar array wing here.
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Orion stretches its wings ahead of first crewed Artemis mission
by Staff Writers
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Apr 11, 2023

Before NASA's Orion spacecraft for the Artemis II mission can be outfitted with its solar array wings, teams at the agency's Kennedy Space Center must first verify that the arrays extend and close properly. On March 17, 2023, technicians inside the Florida spaceport's Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building unfurled one of the wings to confirm all mechanisms operate as expected.

Orion will have four total solar wings, drawing in 11 kilowatts of power from the Sun to provide the spacecraft with propulsion, thermal control, and electrical power. The solar arrays will be installed on Orion's service module - built by Airbus and provided by ESA (European Space Agency) - which supplies life support consumables including water, oxygen, and nitrogen to the astronauts aboard.

Artemis II is the first crewed mission on NASA's path toward establishing a long-term presence on the Moon. The mission will send NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen on a 10-day flight test around the Moon.

Artemis II will launch on the agency's Space Launch System rocket, prove Orion's life support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.

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