On Monday, the first attempt failed due to technical problems. At that time, it was not possible to get one of the four engines on board up to temperature.
A new launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), has been built for traveling to the moon. That’s the most powerful rocket ever. It is 100 meters high and weighs about 2.6 million kilos including fuel. At the very top is packed the craft that has to go to the moon: the Orion.
The United States has been trying to return to the moon for decades. Between 1969 and 1972, a total of 12 American astronauts walked there. They were all white men. The first humans should set foot on the moon again in 2025 at the earliest. The American space agency NASA wants women and people of color to come along.
The Americans are getting help from the space agencies of Europe (ESA) and Canada (CSA) in developing the Orion. On subsequent missions, the astronauts sit in the front part of the Orion, which was developed and built in America. The back is from Europe. This part provides electricity, among other things. It is generated with four large solar panels from Airbus Nederland from Leiden.
Source: De Telegraaf by www.telegraaf.nl.
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