NASA says it will try to launch its huge moon rocket again in late September

NASA says it will try to launch its huge moon rocket again in late September

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft on board is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B on Monday, August 29, 2022.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B on August 29, 2022.Nasa / Joel Kowsky

  • NASA officials said the next launch attempt Artemis I it will be September 27th at the earliest.

  • The second launch attempt on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket was delayed due to a leak of liquid hydrogen.

  • Artemis I is an unmanned test flight that will lay the foundations for future Artemis missions with astronauts.

NASA is aiming for September 27 as the next attempt to launch its Artemis I moon rocket, with October 2 as a potential backup date, NASA said on Monday.

This is if the engineers are able to repair the hydrogen leak that disrupted the last launch attempt on September 3, and if the rocket is allowed to remain on the launch pad without another rollback to the Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building.

On Friday, the Artemis I team finished repairing the hydrogen leaks on Launchpad 39-B in Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. NASA plans to conduct refueling tests on September 21 to ensure that the source of the fuel leak has been removed and that the crew is prepared for the next launch attempt.

On Sept. 27, a 70-minute launch window is expected to open at 11:37 am ET. The rocket is expected to return to Earth on November 5th. The backup launch date of October 2, which has a 109-minute launch window starting at 2:52 PM ET, is “under review,” according to NASA. If the rocket is launched on October 2, it should land back on Earth on November 11.

The space agency also contacted US Space Force Eastern Range officials – who review and approve all missions taking off from the Cape Canaveral region – to extend a battery re-test requirement on the rocket’s flight termination system. lunar.

The countdown was halted after NASA canceled the launch of the Artemis I rocket from launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on September 03, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The countdown was halted after NASA canceled the launch of the Artemis I rocket from launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on September 03, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The new launch dates come after the launch of the Space Launch System and its unmanned Orion capsule was suspended for the second time on Saturday, September 3. At 7:15 am ET, a leak occurred as engineers increased the pressure on the flow of liquid hydrogen into the center stage.

“The teams found a leak of liquid hydrogen while loading the propellant into the central stage of the Space Launch System rocket,” NASA said in a blog post. “Multiple troubleshooting attempts to address the leak area by repositioning a seal in the quick disconnect where liquid hydrogen is injected into the rocket have not solved the problem.”

After the troubleshooting attempts were unsuccessful, Artemis’ launch director canceled the launch.

It was the second scrub – NASA’s term for canceling a launch on a specific day – for the mega moon rocket. During NASA’s first launch attempt on Aug.29, sensors suggested that one of the rocket’s four RS-25 engines was not cooling to a safe temperature in time for launch.

“We don’t have the launch we wanted today. I can tell you that these teams know exactly what they are doing and I am very proud of them,” said Bill Nelson, NASA administrator, on September 3. “Just remember we won’t launch until it’s right.”

NASA Officials Hold Press Conference After Launch of Unmanned Lunar Rocket Artemis I Postponed

NASA officials hold a press conference after the launch of the unmanned moon rocket Artemis I was postponed.CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

In August, NASA engineers tested the rocket’s flight termination system, which began a 20-day timeline for launch. If the launch is delayed beyond those 20 days, engineers will have to retire the rocket for further testing, Jeremy Parsons, deputy director of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems, said at a press conference on Friday.

NASA engineers are also confronted with time, a common cause of launch delays. Forecasts prior to Saturday’s attempt showed 60% favorable weather conditions at the start of the launch window. “On any given day, there is about a one in three chance that we will clean up for whatever reason,” NASA meteorologist Melody Levin said in a briefing on Friday, Sept. 2. “Among these possibilities of cleaning up, there is a 50% chance that it is due to time,” Levin said.

dozens of people standing on the grass sitting on deck chairs watching the vertical rocket roll out of the high building at night

Invited guests and NASA employees watch as NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket exits the Vehicle Assembly Building on August 16, 2022.Nasa / Joel Kowsky

Also, when planning a launch attempt, NASA must ensure that the Orion capsule does not go into an eclipse, or into the shadow of the moon, for too long, because it depends on solar energy.

According to the Space Coast Tourism Bureau, more than 400,000 visitors were expected to gather near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Saturday to witness the inaugural launch.

NASA's Artemis I rocket sits on launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on September 03, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NASA’s Artemis I rocket sits on Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 3, 2022.Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

NASA spent 17 years and about $ 50 billion developing the SLS rocket and its Orion spacecraft, according to The Planetary Society.

During the Artemis I mission, NASA aims to fly the Orion crew capsule around the moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown, before heading back for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. .

There will be no people on board during the Artemis I launch. But if the spacecraft successfully completes its mission, NASA plans to put the astronauts in the Orion module for another trip around the moon, during the Artemis II mission. It’s all in preparation for Artemis III, in which NASA hopes to land the first woman and first black person on the lunar surface in 2025.

This story has been updated with new information. It was originally released on September 3, 2022.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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