back to article NASA sets a date to begin lunar tuning

NASA has set a date for the test of the technologies it hopes will see it return to the Moon and explore Mars: February 2022. The agency on Saturday announced that its Orion spacecraft has been stacked atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and if all tests go well is expected to make an uncrewed test flight around the …

  1. Spherical Cow Silver badge

    No rush

    Assembly in the VAB started on 20th November last year, which is when they lifted the solid-fuel boosters to vertical. That's 11 months to bolt all the sections together. Fingers crossed they can do it faster for subsequent rockets or the time between missions will be very long.

    Rockets go very very fast, but it can take them aaaages to get started.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: No rush

      I've known people to take longer than that assembling ikea furniture.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: No rush

      Cost will make it impossible to fly more than 1 mission per year so 11 months assembly time doesn;t really matter.

      Plus Starship will make it obsolete in one fell swoop so...

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Moon botherers

    > NASA has set a date for the test of the technologies it hopes will see it return to the Moon and explore Mars: February 2022.

    > .... it would be no surprise if the February date slipped.

    And as Douglas Adams said: I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

    That could be the only fly-by that this mission achieves.

  3. Zanzibar Rastapopulous


    How would astronauts tolerate the boredom of it? At least one of them will be sat around for 25 days.

    When they do a crewed one they'll have to have a really big stack of movies on board.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      All you need is a 256GB USB stick that is USB3-compatible.

      Oh, and a tablet, of course.

      Jokes aside, they're astronauts, not civil servants. They have a daily program that is regulated to the minute. They obviously do have some downtime available, but they're not going to be spending six months watching films or series.

      They don't have time for that.

      1. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

        They don't have time for that.

        I think they will. Unless it goes pear shaped, the machine will have been proven to be quite capable of performing the mission itself.

        Perhaps suggest what they might be doing? For what? 16hrs a day for 25 days?

        Presumably labour laws still apply in space so they should get some down time in a month.

        And yes, they are most definitely civil servants.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Re: a really big stack of movies on board

      It will probably include 'The Martian' and 'Apollo 13'.

  4. I should coco

    Massive Stack

    ...of p0rn mags? Do they still make them anymore.

    Something to keep the boredom off.

    1. Skiron

      Re: Massive Stack

      I read an interview with a p0rn magazine editor a few months ago and he was asked if they still sell. He replied: "Oh yes. There are still a lot of elderly Gentlemen out there that don't own a laptop".

      1. Phil Kingston

        Re: Massive Stack

        Yeah, but you don't find laptops stashed in the woods

      2. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

        Re: Massive Stack

        The problem with laptops in this instance, is that they're on the lap and thus a bit in the way.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Massive Stack

      "Artemis 1, this is Houston. Life support telemetry seems unusual today, is anything unusual happening? We seem to have lost video as well."

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Massive Stack

        That explains why ISS suddenly started spinning

  5. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

    If you gotta take your time to do something, ok. Just be sure when you're finished, it's done right.

    Getting tired of watching people go under by drowning in a sea of resources.

  6. Roger Kynaston Silver badge


    I hope it doesn't slip too far. This is a good time for space-y stuff with the JWST scheduled for launch next month along with this. Hopefully funding will be found for a mission to Neptune and Uranus as well.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    I was a bit worried when I saw the heading.

    I wasn't aware the moon had gone out of tune. Was it because we keep crashing things into it?

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