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What to Know About the Rescheduled Launch of Artemis I


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The two-hour launch window for a second attempt of NASA to launch Artemis I is scheduled to open at 2:17 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday. One of the four RS-25 engines on the bottom of the Space Launch System’s (SLS) core stage failed to reach the necessary temperature range for liftoff on Monday because It forced the launch to abort.

According to SLS program manager John Honeycutt. Measurements after the first launch attempt indicated that SLS engine 3 seemed to be up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the desired minus 420 degrees Fahrenheit. The three more engines fell just short.

Storms in the area delayed the start of propellant loading operations. A leak at the quick disconnect on the 8-inch line used to fill and drain core stage liquid hydrogen. And a hydrogen leak from a valve used to vent the propellant from the core stage intertank. These were all problems that we experienced during Monday’s launch window.

On Thursday, SLS engineers stated that all four of the rocket’s primary engines are in good condition. Engine 3 appeared to overheat due to a defective temperature sensor. According to Honeycutt, bringing SLS back into the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. It may cause weeks of delay because the sensor would be “tricky” to fix there.

Michael Sarafin, the Artemis program manager of NASA, stated that in order to be ready for Saturday. The team would alter the way that propellant is loaded into the rocket. And try cooling the engines between 30 and 45 minutes early in the countdown. According to Honeycutt, other sensors can be depended upon to make sure everything is operating properly and to stop the countdown if there is a problem. Even if the suspect temperature sensor says the one engine is too warm.

The team will perform some repairs at the launch pad to stop a hydrogen tail service mast umbilical leak again.

We expect a 60% chance of favorable weather at the start of the two-hour launch window and an 80% chance of suitable weather at the end of the window, according to the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45.

If the launch is successful, the Orion capsule from SLS would spend nearly six weeks in space before landing on October 11 in the Pacific Ocean. Astronauts would board Artemis II and travel around the moon and back as early as 2024. We are assuming the test goes well. By the end of 2025, a two-person lunar landing may take place.

With years of delays and escalating expenditures that reached at least $37 billion as of last year. The SLS and Orion have been in development for more than ten years. Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, has referred to the Artemis program as an “economic engine,” saying that it, for instance, supported 70,000 American jobs and generated $14 billion in revenue in 2019 alone.

Artemis I Program

Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne are a few of the contractors that have worked on SLS and Orion. The 322-foot rocket outperforms even the Saturn V that launched the Apollo astronauts to the moon. It is the most potent NASA has ever created. In 1972, astronauts made their final moonwalk.

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