NASA does not want to return the giant SLS rocket to the hangar after all; if possible, there should be a third attempt in two weeks to start the moon mission Artemis-1. This is announced by the US space agency. The competent authority is therefore asked to extend the operational readiness of the flight cancellation system.
In addition, the huge tanks are to be partially filled on September 17 to ensure that the leaks have been closed. If these requirements are met, Artemis-1 could get new launch windows on September 23rd and 27th.
Since NASA had to cancel Saturday’s second launch attempt due to a hydrogen leak, it has been working to patch the leaks while protecting the rocket from the elements. It was actually said that the certification of the important system that can automatically abort a flight is not enough to try another start. The deadline for the certification to expire was already extended after the rocket was brought to the launch pad. The so-called Eastern Range of the US Space Force, which is responsible for the rocket launches there, is now being asked to extend the certification again.
Artemis-1 is the long-awaited beginning of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return mankind to the moon. Actually, the mission should have started last Monday, but then there was a problem with one of the four rocket engines during the preparations. When it was supposed to be cooled down to the operating temperature with some fuel, according to the temperature sensor it didn’t work. In the meantime, those responsible suspect that only the transmitted values were not correct. The second attempt on Saturday didn’t even get to that point.
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On the way to the launch pad
(Image: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The mission is to use the never-launched giant SLS rocket to launch the Orion space capsule to the moon. The capsule will then orbit it 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.
People are already said to be circling the moon on Artemis-2, and after an unmanned test of the lunar module, the crew of Artemis-3 is even supposed to land. This is currently planned for the middle of the decade, but there are serious doubts about the timetable. On Thursday, NASA awarded Axiom Space the contract to develop the space suits for Artemis-3.
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