Following a successful launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, the agency’s Orion spacecraft is on its way to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. Carrying an uncrewed Orion, SLS lifted off for its flight test debut at 1:47 a.m. EST Wednesday from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The launch is the first leg of a mission in which Orion is planned to travel approximately 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and return to Earth over the course of 25.5 days. Known as Artemis I, the mission is a critical part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, in which the agency explores for the benefit of humanity. It’s an important test for the agency before flying astronauts on the Artemis II mission.
“What an incredible sight to see NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft launch together for the first time. This uncrewed flight test will push Orion to the limits in the rigors of deep space, helping us prepare for human exploration on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
After reaching its initial orbit, Orion deployed its solar arrays and engineers began performing checkouts of the spacecraft’s systems. About 1.5 hours into flight, the rocket’s upper stage engine successfully fired for approximately 18 minutes to give Orion the big push needed to send it out of Earth orbit and toward the Moon.
Orion has separated from its upper stage and is on its outbound coast to the Moon powered by its service module, which is the propulsive powerhouse provided by ESA (European Space Agency) through an international collaboration.
“It’s taken a lot to get here, but Orion is now on its way to the Moon,” said Jim Free, NASA deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “This successful launch means NASA and our partners are on a path to explore farther in space than ever before for the benefit of humanity.”
Over the next several hours, a series of 10 small science investigations and technology demonstrations, called CubeSats, will deploy from a ring that connected the upper stage to the spacecraft. Each CubeSat has its own mission that has the potential to fill gaps in our knowledge of the solar system or demonstrate technologies that may benefit the design of future missions to explore the Moon and beyond.
Orion’s service module will also perform the first of a series of burns to keep Orion on course toward the Moon approximately eight hours after launch. In the coming days, mission controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will conduct additional checkouts and course corrections as needed. Orion is expected to fly by the Moon on Nov. 21, performing a close approach of the lunar surface on its way to a distant retrograde orbit, a highly stable orbit thousands of miles beyond the Moon.
“The Space Launch System rocket delivered the power and performance to send Orion on its way to the Moon,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager. “With the accomplishment of the first major milestone of the mission, Orion will now embark on the next phase to test its systems and prepare for future missions with astronauts.”
The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft arrived at Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39B on Nov. 4 where they rode out Hurricane Nicole. Following the storm, teams conducted thorough assessments of the rocket, spacecraft, and associated ground systems and confirmed there were no significant impacts from the severe weather.
Engineers previously rolled the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) Sept. 26 ahead of Hurricane Ian and after waving off two previous launch attempts Aug. 29 due to a faulty temperature sensor, and Sept. 4 due to a liquid hydrogen leak at an interface between the rocket and mobile launcher. Prior to rolling back to the VAB, teams successfully repaired the leak and demonstrated updated tanking procedures. While in the VAB, teams performed standard maintenance to repair minor damage to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system and recharge or replace batteries throughout the system.
Artemis I is supported by thousands of people around the world, from contractors who built Orion and SLS, and the ground infrastructure needed to launch them, to international and university partners, to small businesses supplying subsystems and components.
Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone for astronauts on the way to Mars.
View more photos of Artemis I at:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Taking Action
Make a difference during Breast Cancer Awareness Month by taking action, supporting early detection, and accessing resources.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is a significant time when pink ribbons symbolize the fight against breast cancer. However, it’s crucial to understand that awareness alone is not enough. This October, let’s go beyond awareness and take action.
A breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, which is why initiatives like the NBCF Patient Navigation Program exist—to ensure that no one battles breast cancer alone. Early detection is key to successful outcomes, but many people may not know what signs and symptoms to look for. Thankfully, resources like NBCF’s “Most Asked Questions: Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms” provide answers and guidance.
We can all make a difference during BCAM. Use your voice, passion, and financial support to ensure that every woman has access to critical screening, support, and care. By getting involved, getting screened, making a donation, or taking action, you can directly impact the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month extends beyond awareness campaigns. In the United States, organizations like the National Football League incorporate pink into their activities, and even comic strip artists dedicate a day in October to raise awareness. Additionally, various walks and events raise funds for breast cancer programs, such as the iconic Race for the Cure, which began in October 1983.
Let’s make Breast Cancer Awareness Month a time of action, support, and empowerment. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that everyone facing breast cancer receives the care and resources they deserve.
If you would like to donate to BCAM or get more information, please follow this link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Month
United States Space Force: Protecting America’s Interests in Space
“Learn about the United States Space Force: its formation, purpose, and role in protecting national security and space assets.”
The United States Space Force (USSF) is the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, established to protect American interests in space. It was formed on December 20, 2019, when President Donald Trump signed the United States Space Force Act, making it the first new independent military service in over 70 years.
While the concept of a Space Force had been discussed since the 1950s, the need for a dedicated space-focused military branch became increasingly evident with the growing importance of space in national security and defense. The USSF operates under the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps operates under the Department of the Navy. It is led by the Secretary of the Air Force and its military heads are the Chief of Space Operations and the Vice Chief of Space Operations.
The Space Force’s primary purpose is to ensure the freedom of operation in space and protect U.S. space assets. It is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping space forces, which are then deployed to the unified combatant commands, particularly the United States Space Command. The Space Force operates various programs and systems, including GPS, the Space Fence, military satellite communications constellations, X-37B spaceplanes, the U.S. missile warning system, the U.S. space surveillance network, and the Satellite Control Network.
The USSF’s formation marked a significant recognition of the critical role space plays in national security, communication, and technological advancement. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on space-based assets for navigation, communication, and intelligence gathering, the Space Force aims to protect these capabilities, deter aggression, and maintain superiority in space.
By establishing the Space Force, the United States has demonstrated its commitment to safeguarding its interests in space and maintaining its position as a global leader in space capabilities. As technology continues to advance and more nations venture into space, the United States Space Force will play a vital role in ensuring the security and resilience of American assets in this final frontier. Kindly click on the link for further details: https://www.spaceforce.mil/
Here for the Holidays: Make Them More Memorable Than Ever with Four Seasons
From snowy landscapes to sunny paradise, Four Seasons offers a collection of bespoke ways to celebrate around the world, with holiday-inspired activities to share with loved ones
TORONTO /PRNewswire/ — This year, the best gift of all may be sharing special moments, memorable meals, and epic adventures with family and loved ones, and friends old and new. The picture-perfect holiday celebration differs for everyone; it can be set on a sunny oceanfront paradise with twinkling turquoise waters or among scenic snow-covered mountains while sipping on handcrafted cocktails. Whatever the backdrop, Four Seasons offers a plethora of uniquely curated experiences to match any holiday inspiration and suit everyone from culinary connoisseurs to adventure-seekers. From a traditional après-style gathering around the table to a toast to the new year in grand style or a spur-of-the-moment family retreat, these experiences are opportunities to share and enjoy lifelong memories – all blanketed by the warmth and care of Four Seasons hospitality.
Sunny Destinations to Celebrate the Holidays
- Enter a five-acre (two hectare) UNESCO haven for up to 22 guests at Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, where property event experts partner with guests to create a completely personalized experience. Whether it’s hitting the ocean to swim with sharks or lounging poolside and watching dolphins at play, Voavah invites its guests to dream with their eyes open and enjoy a truly unforgettable holiday.
- Bask in the sun on the pristine blue waters of the Pacific Ocean aboard a 46-foot (14 metre) catamaran at Four Seasons Resort Hualālai. Aptly named Alaka’i Nui (great leader), the catamaran boasts an extended range, enabling guests to venture miles from the Resort to enjoy exciting new activities such as deep-sea fishing and exploration of additional snorkelling locations and beaches.
- Ring in the new year at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla while enjoying the sights from the famous Sunset Lounge and sounds from New York-based DJ Mia Moretti and Violinist Margot who are headlining the resort’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration.
- Escape to an island hideaway at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa where the charming village setting complete with a lagoon, flower garden, and island spa provides total serenity. For adventure seekers, diving and surfing are island specialties and for the youngest guests, there are endless fun, educational, and culturally enriching activities available, from sandcastle building to hermit crab races.
- Welcome 2024 in electrifying style with a Neon Party at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand during a night filled with pulsating music and dazzling neon lights, including a fireworks display at midnight.
Holiday Fun with the Whole Family
- Skate the night away on a secret terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, where guests can enjoy music, seasonal snacks, and for adults, handcrafted cocktails from Fifty Mils, named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars.
- At Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Santa plans to make a splash as he navigates the Ayung River before offering holiday greetings and treats for children at the Pici-Pici Kids Club. Meanwhile, at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Santa continues his annual tradition of catching a few breaks while riding the waves with guests and the TropicSurf team.
- Celebrate Christmas Eve in tropical-style poolside and enjoy an open-fire barbecue and Miami-inspired cocktails with views of turquoise Biscayne Bay at Four Seasons Hotel Miami.
Enchanted Winter Escapes
- Enjoy a cozy cabin dining experience in the middle of the bustling city at Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis where a Nordic Village sits on the Hotel’s outdoor fourth-floor pool deck, Riva Terrace. On weekends, cabins are transformed into an open-air market featuring products from local artists, makers, and creators.
- Indulge in a traditional fondue or raclette at Le Chalet des Etoiles, a Christmas Popup exuding a cozy alpine atmosphere decorated with twinkling lights and vintage skis located on the panoramic rooftop of Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva.
- Indulge in an elevated après experience after a day on the slopes and head to Ascent Lounge at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole to enjoy panoramic views of America’s most rugged peaks, all while sipping on a Backcountry Old Fashioned for a taste of Wyoming’s finest local whiskey.
- Enjoy dive-in holiday movies in the new waterfall-edge pool at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago for special viewings of iconic holiday tales with popcorn and cookies for a family night to remember.
Festive Feasting and Celebratory Drinks
The magic of the season begins around the table, and Four Seasons draws its inspiration from its guests, the secret ingredient for culinary magic. This festive season, the greatest gift to share is the experience of something new with loved ones. Here are a few of Four Seasons restaurants and bars serving up unexpected indulgences and delectable surprises – each carefully curated with love by its craftspeople.
A Culinary Discovery for Global Gastronomes
- Venture to Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire to experience the return of Off Piste, a Swiss-inspired pop-up winter concept restaurant. Enjoy a specially crafted menu by Executive Chef Talha Barkin featuring a delicious mix of Swiss cuisine, seasonal meats, vegetable charcuterie boards, and a classic cheese fondue complete with truffle shavings.
- Savour the taste of Italy on Christmas Eve in tropical surroundings with a sumptuous five-course set menu by Chef Marco Garfagnini at Acquapazza complemented by free-flowing wines and Champagne at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita.
- Attract blessings for the new year with a bowl of piping hot toshikoshi soba on New Year’s Eve at THE LOUNGE at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi and enjoy unobstructed city views. The thin and long noodles denote long life and a happy home in Japanese culture, perfect for ushering in a new year of hope and promise.
- Usher in the New Year with a selection of signature dining destinations at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh including a celebratory Mediterranean set-menu at Bullona with live entertainment, an upscale Japanese and pan-Asian dining experience at Yatai, and a five-course menu featuring traditional Italian cuisine in an indoor-outdoor venue at Il Frantoio.
An Exploration of Cocktails and Spirits
- For a memorable sip, savour local classics such as the Takamaka Bay spiced dark rum from Mahé at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, or a playful twist on holiday flavours such as eggnog with Amaretto liqueur cocktail at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, featuring a creamy texture and cinnamon flavour.
- Sip, shake, and stir up holiday favourites during a Mixology Masterclass at Noe bar at Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina, or participate in the Fire and Ice cocktail program at Braidwood Tavern at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler.
- Get a unique glimpse into Budapest’s Golden Era Glam with a Champagne countdown event at MÚZSA at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest featuring a champagne selection, craft cocktail creations, live entertainment, and Asian hors d’oeuvres.
Deck the Halls – and the Lobby, and the Pool Terrace, and More
- Step into the holiday warmth at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, where the lobby and marble courtyard are punctuated with intricate gold and silver Festive decoration by Jeff Leatham. With a month-long celebration throughout December filled with live music and artistic performances, the Hotel is the perfect setting for a holiday dinner at the three-Michelin starred restaurant Le Cinq or an elegant afternoon tea celebration at La Galerie.
- Say aloha to the holiday season at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea where they are welcoming back travellers and transforming their lobby in collaboration with local artist Noah Harders. Rooted in his love for the island, the Maui artist personally forages and sources as many elements as possible from the island. This year, head-turning installations will dazzle guests as the final lobby look will celebrate the rich culture of Maui. Utilizing traditional weaving techniques and Hawaiian elements, guests will be taken on a journey to a wondrous Hawaii where woven coconut palm fronds and striking palm leaves will set the base to this larger-than-life design.
- Guests at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul are treated to an elaborate Nordic display and floral arrangements created by internationally renowned floral artist Nicolai Bergmann, who draws on his Danish roots to create a cozy feel with winter greenery and glittering lights.
For more holiday happenings, visit fourseasons.com including the full festive program in Europe, and follow press.fourseasons.com for the latest festive news from Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world.
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first hotel in 1961, and since that time has been dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 126 hotels and resorts, and 53 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world’s best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit fourseasons.com.
SOURCE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
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