A launch of the SLS super rocket as part of Artemis’ first mission to the moon is not imminent, after the launch at Cape Canaveral in Florida was called off for the second time in five days due to technical issues.
On Saturday, a leak occurred in the liquid hydrogen supply from ground facilities to the first stage. Three attempts to do something about it failed, and eventually the launch manager blew the boot.
According to Mission Director Mike Sarfin, the leak was significant. The reason is not yet known.
The world’s most powerful launch vehicle could theoretically depart on Monday or Wednesday (Belgian time). But this option is “not on the table,” it sounded at a press conference. There is not enough time to complete the repair by Wednesday at the latest.
By the way, NASA has not yet decided whether the repair will take place on the launch pad, followed by a small refueling test, or in the huge assembly building. Any choice means a delay of several weeks.
“We’ll go when we’re ready.”
The next launch window opens on September 19 and runs through October 4. But NASA wants to send a new crew to the International Space Station on October 3 with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and wants to avoid a launch conflict.
So the subsequent run window appears to be the option. This is open from October 17 to 31.
“We’ll go when we’re ready,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who flew the space shuttle. “We won’t go until that time, especially now, on a test flight.”
The Space Launch System aims to launch an unmanned Orion capsule with a European service module to the Moon for a test flight in which the Heat Shield will receive particular attention.
The ultimate goal of the Artemis program is to allow another human to set foot on our natural satellite by 2025 at the earliest and for the first time since 1972.
Watch too. Artemis 1 has been canceled for technical reasons
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