The seals associated with the aborted second launch attempt of NASA’s giant SLS rocket have been replaced. Both the 8-inch line for filling and draining the liquid hydrogen from the core stage and the 4-inch drain line have been sealed, the US space agency said. Once the lines are back in place, inspections are to follow before the rest of the preparations for next Saturday’s important test are due to begin. Then it should be checked whether the leaks have really been closed and another attempt to launch the Artemis-1 mission is possible.
Next start attempt in September?
With the attempt to seal the leaks discovered on September 3, NASA wants to ensure that the long-awaited moon mission can still start in a timely manner. However, it is still unclear whether the US Space Force’s Eastern Range, which is responsible for the rocket launches, will extend the certification of the important flight cancellation system. If she doesn’t, the rocket has to go back to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
The first launch attempt was aborted because one of the four rocket engines was not sufficiently cooled down, according to sensor data. But it was probably just one sensor that was faulty. Should the connections prove to be tight during the test planned for September 17th, the giant SLS rocket could be assigned new launch windows on September 23rd and 27th.
NASA wants to start its Artemis moon program with Artemis-1, the never-launched giant rocket SLS is supposed to shoot the Orion space capsule to the moon. The capsule will then orbit this for several weeks before returning to Earth. The US space agency wants to test the technology that will be used to bring people to the moon again in a few years – but this time not just for short visits.
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This is how the start should go
People are said to be already orbiting the moon on Artemis-2, and after an unmanned test of the lunar module, the crew of Artemis-3 is even supposed to land. That is planned for the middle of the decade. However, there are serious doubts about the schedule.
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