# Issue No. 182

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# The Orbital Index

Issue No. 182 | Aug 24, 2022

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 ¶Artemis I is back at the pad. After over a decade and somewhere between $20 and$30 billion, the first Space Launch System—the rocket for Artemis I—is now at pad 39B and ‘go’ for launch, potentially as soon as the 29th. Artemis I will send an uncrewed Orion capsule into lunar orbit (for about 40 days) and then back to Earth. The mission will shake down the full SLS ground support and launch system, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, and the Orion capsule, demonstrating the latter’s ability to survive 32,000 km/hr lunar re-entry velocities and its crew readiness for Artemis II. This is effectively following an accelerated version of the Apollo program where Apollo 4-10 proved out parts of the Saturn V/Lunar Module/Command and Service Module system and their flight profile. It also carries numerous space radiation environment sensors (some in the form of anatomically correct torsos) from multiple space agencies to evaluate the effects of radiation on future astronauts. Post Orion separation, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage will deploy 10 small spacecraft, most of which we’ve written about before. These are really exciting solar sailing, lunar airbag flip-landing, ice probing, and bio-analyzing missions, and it’s a shame that NASA hasn’t allowed them to be re-charged after Artemis I’s delays, threatening their chances of survival… of course, they likely cost dramatically less than even one of SLS’s disposable $146M engines. It feels like we harp on SLS’s cost a lot, but at$4.1B per launch, we kind of have to (especially since SLS was in part envisioned as a more cost-effective launch vehicle than Shuttle, which ended up costing ~\$1.64B/launch).
 ¶Jobs.Spire is hiring a spacecraft RF engineer in Glasgow, Scotland.SpaceX is hiring technicians for its Vandenberg operations as the company increases its West Coast launch cadence.Ursa Major is hiring a senior software engineer in Colorado.