(ORDO NEWS) — On November 16, the Artemis I mission was launched from Launch Complex 39B at Cape Canaveral and headed for the Moon. This unmanned mission tests the capabilities of the SLS launch vehicle and the Orion spacecraft.
As an additional payload, Artemis I launched ten 6U CubeSats into orbit.
Three of them are NASA missions, while the rest were built by partner space agencies, commercial organizations and research institutes to carry out scientific experiments in deep space.
While all of these satellites have successfully deployed, six have not made contact with ground controllers or are experiencing problems.
The three NASA missions include BioSentinel, Lunar Flashflight and NEA. BioSentinel will measure the effects of deep space radiation on DNA using yeast organisms.
The NEA reconnaissance mission will demonstrate solar sail deployment and solar sail navigation through a rendezvous with near-Earth asteroid 2020 GE.
NASA partner missions include the following:
ArgoMoon is designed to observe the SLS intermediate cryogenic propulsion stage using advanced optics and imaging software systems.
CuSP will measure solar particles and magnetic fields.
EQUULEUS was developed to obtain images of the Earth’s plasmasphere and study the radiation situation on Earth.
Lunar IceCube will search the Moon for water and other volatiles using an infrared spectrometer.
LunaH-Map is planned to be used to create maps of near-surface hydrogen content in permanent shadow craters and other regions near the Moon’s South Pole.
Linux will enable advanced infrared imaging of the lunar surface.
OMOTENASHI will study the lunar environment.
Team Miles should test the plasma thrusters.
All ten CubeSats successfully deployed. On November 18, NASA officials confirmed that ArgoMoon, Biosentinel, Equuleus, LunaH-Map, and OMOTENASHI were all operational, though OMOTENASHI has since run into problems.
On November 24, NASA reported that the NEA reconnaissance mission had still not made contact.
Only four of the deployed satellites have successfully established contact with their controllers on Earth. The teams behind the other six missions are currently troubleshooting various issues.
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