Jacobs joined NASA as speakers in the latest Space 101 webinar session, Test Before You Fly – Verification of Advanced Launch Vehicle Designs by Ground Test. Hosted by the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, the Space 101 series brings together space experts from industry and government to help educate media on how space missions are accomplished, what goes into space system design and the science behind the mission. The series provides an open forum for reporters to ask questions surrounding the technologies, capabilities and approaches needed for humanity’s return to the moon in advance of NASA’s upcoming Artemis I mission.
Moderated by Jacobs’ Senior Vice President and General Manager of NASA Enterprise Solutions Randy Lycans, the webinar took place on May 13 and covered topics such as what goes into assuring space mission success by verifying system performance through testing, specifically those associated with NASA’s Artemis Program.
Leading off the discussion, Jacobs’ Director of Test Design and Operations for the Jacobs Space Exploration Group at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Tim Sanders, gave an overview on the status of Artemis I, then spoke to the journey of getting to the pad and the amount of verification and validation testing required for certifying a new vehicle like Artemis I to fly.
"Test as you fly, fly as you test"
Testing is the heritage of NASA, MSFC and Jacobs. Extensive ground testing of space flight hardware verifies the integrity of the design or reveals shortcomings, and provides data and opportunities for optimization. “Test as you fly, fly as you test” has been a mantra of the human space flight program from the beginning.
June 2020, Jacobs and NASA completed the structural test campaign for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at MSFC. The nearly three-year structural test series qualified the structural design of multiple hardware elements for the rocket that will launch NASA’s Artemis missions and astronauts to the moon.
Lastly, Tim discussed vibration testing of the integrated Artemis I vehicle at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Tests simulate vibrations that the vehicle may experience during flight and how it responds to vibration sources. Prior to rolling out the Artemis I rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B, the Jacobs team traveled to KSC to perform shaker and tap tests and monitor vibrations from rolling to the pad.
Lisa Bates, Director of the NASA MSFC Test Lab Lisa Bates joined Tim in fielding questions from members of the media to close out the webinar. You can see the Q&A session from the 28:05 mark of the webinar recording.
Artemis I Rolls to Launch Pad for the First Time
The Jacobs team supported NASA rolling out the Artemis I rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in preparation of final prelaunch tests of the Space Launch System (SLS). Artemis I, a flight test of the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, will be the first mission in NASA's new deep space human exploration program, which aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon and establish sustainable exploration in preparation for missions to Mars.
NASA’s Artemis I Mission: Rocket Assembly Is Complete!
Jacobs and NASA completed stacking of all Artemis I flight hardware, paving the way for future Artemis missions.
Jacobs and NASA Begin Stacking of Space Launch System - Critical Step in Preparations for Artemis I Mission
First Solid Rocket Booster segment moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC
Jacobs and NASA Achieve Major Artemis I Milestone, Orion Spacecraft Ready for Launch Processing
Orion spacecraft module is turned over to Exploration Ground Systems team at Kennedy Space Center for launch processing, paving the way to send humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Click to read the details on this exciting milestone.