Artemis 1 Test Launch For Moon Mission rescheduled

ALABAMA - NASA's launch of the Artemis mission which is "going back to the Moon for scientific discovery" has been scrubbed and rescheduled for Saturday partly due to issues with engine 3, and bad weather, the space agency reported on Monday.

Lightning had previously struck the launch towers at the Kennedy Space Center last Saturday, though officials said that the lightning was "low magnitude" and would not likely affect the launch in any way.

The Orion enclosure and the remote-controlled SLS (space launch system) were scheduled for liftoff on a trial space flight to the moon, christened Artemis 1, but engine issues foiled the greatly-expected launch.

NASA's engineers discovered problems with one of the gas lines as fuel was actively being loaded. troubleshooting efforts were halted after a liquid hydrogen seam which is used to keep the rocket's core-stage engines cold had failed, according to NBC.

The 4-core stage rocket engines require being chilled to cryogenic temperatures before liftoff in order to prevent a systems shock when super cold accelerant hits the higher temperatures when the engine is fired up.

According to ABC News, NASA representatives said on Monday that engine 3 didn't successfully cool down to a temperature of 500 degrees Rankine (40.3 Fahrenheit) which is required for a successful liftoff.

The manager of the Space Launch System Program at Marshall Space Flight Center, John Honeycutt thinks the issue might have been caused by a faulty sensor, rather than the engine not cooling properly.

ABC quoted Honeycutt as saying, “I think we've got enough data to put the story together, but we've still got to go put the pieces together”.

A new liftoff date has been scheduled for Saturday, September 3rd. Launch waits are not unusual when it comes to testing out the latest spacecraft that may ultimately transport humans into space. The chief of NASA, Bill Nelson stated on Monday that the division will not complete the trial until it was safe to do so.

Bill Nelson says, “When you're dealing in a high-risk business — and spaceflight is risky — that's what you do," he said. "You buy down that risk. You make it as safe as possible,” as quoted by NBC.

Representatives for NASA stated that the spacecraft and rocket were presently in a stable, safe condition," and that technicians intend to carry on collecting information out of the space vehicle, on the launching platform.

The occurrence Monday was supposed to be the initial flight of the 322-foot-tall SLS, something NASA has touted as “the most powerful rocket in the world.” The preliminary launch is tailored to examine both the Orion spacecraft and the SLS rocket system ahead of sending any astronauts to the surface of the Moon.

The Artemis I has been held up for over 10 years due to research by Nasa. Nasa's research has led to building a new mega-rocket that goes "above and beyond" the capacities of the Saturn V, utilized during the Apollo mission era during the 60s & 70s. The Artemis project has been facing harsh criticism for being behind schedule, and for costing billions of dollars more than previously budgeted.

NASA Inspector General Paul Martin met with the House Science Committee for an inquiry earlier in 2022. He said that NASA is expected to spend $93 billion on the Artemis project which spans the timeframe from 2012 to 2025.

The Artemis Project was chosen to be named after the Greek goddess Artemis, who is the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology. NASA foresees regulated missions to the lunar surface to lay the foundation for a base camp that could serve as a “jumping-off point” for trips to Mars.

Representatives for NASA say that astronauts could go back to the Moon as soon as the year 2025.

Artemis 1.jpg

NBC News | ABC News
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NASA at Wikipedia
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