Update on NASA’s Artemis 1 Moon Mission: Saturday Launch Effort

NASA’s next-generation lunar rocket, a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion crew capsule on top, as it stands on launch pad 39B in preparation for the Artemis 1 unmanned mission at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on August 27, 2022.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

NASA announced it will make another attempt to launch the Artemis I Moon mission on Saturday, after stop debuting on Monday due to engine trouble.

The space agency is working towards the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule, with a journey of more than a month around the moon.

On Monday, NASA was unable to resolve a temperature issue identified with one of the rocket’s four liquid-fuelled engines, which was detected with a countdown of less than two hours.

NASA’s Artemis I mission director Mike Sarafin said in a press conference Tuesday that the team will change the procedure for loading propellant into the rocket and will begin trying to cool the engine to an optimal temperature earlier in the day. countdown time.

Notably, weather remains a concern about whether NASA might attempt a launch on Saturday, according to Space Force weather officer Mark Burger.

“The likelihood of a weather breach at any point in the countdown is still pretty high for me,” Burger said at the press conference.

NASA says the two-hour launch window will open at 2:17 p.m. ET on Saturday, meaning it could take off anytime between then and 4:17 p.m.

The shaftless flight is set to be the first of the agency’s most powerful rockets ever assembled, and kick off NASA’s long-awaited return to the lunar surface. It marks the beginning of NASA’s Artemis Moon program, which is expected to send the agency’s astronauts to the moon on its third mission in 2025.

While Artemis I will not carry an astronaut, nor land on the moon, the mission is important to demonstrate that NASA’s monster rocket and deep space capsule can live up to its promised capabilities. surname. Artemis I has been delayed for years, with the program exceeding its budget by billions of dollars.

This story is evolving. Please check back for updates.

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