#Canceled #Saturday #NASAs #rocket #liftoff #Moon #wont #quickly #retried
“It’s a whole new vehicle, a whole new technology, a whole new goal: to get back to the Moon to prepare for a trip to Mars, and yes, it’s tough,” NASA chief Bill told a news conference. nelson
After a first failed attempt on Monday due to technical problems, the takeoff of the first Artemis 1 test mission, without an astronaut on board, was scheduled this time for Saturday at 2:17 p.m. local time (6:17 p.m. GMT), from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
But NASA teams were unable to resolve a fuel leak problem, which began in the early hours of the morning, during operations to fill the rocket tanks. This leak of ultracold liquid hydrogen was described as “large” by Mike Sarafin, in charge of the mission at NASA.
The “main suspect,” he explained, is a “seal” that surrounds a part that connects the pipe that carries the fuel and the rocket – a component designed to break ultra-fast just as the rocket is fired. off.
The teams believe they have to replace this seal, either directly at the launch pad, or by returning the rocket to its assembly building a few miles away.
– Possibly weeks late –
Another problem: the rocket’s emergency self-destruct system, designed to detonate it in the event of a trajectory deviation after takeoff, must be retested a priori, and can only be tested in the assembly building.
Getting the rocket in and out, however, will take “weeks,” Mike Sarafin said.
The next possible periods for a release are from September 19 to October 4, then from October 17 to 31.
NASA said the early October period would be difficult to coordinate, due to the planned launch at the same time of a crew of astronauts for the International Space Station, also from the Kennedy Space Center.
Be that as it may, the tens of thousands of spectators expected on the coast on Saturday for takeoff will still have to wait to see the show.
The orange and white SLS rocket, which has never flown before, has been in development for more than a decade to become the most powerful in the world.
Fifty years after the last Apollo mission, Artemis 1 should make it possible to verify that the Orion capsule, on top of the rocket, is safe to transport astronauts to the Moon in the future.
For this first mission, Orion will venture up to 64,000 kilometers behind the Moon, farther than any other habitable spacecraft to date.