On Saturday, NASA will Attempt to Launch a Moon Rocket for the 2nd Time
NASA aims to try again on September 3 to launch its massive next-generation lunar rocket
Washington: NASA aims to try again on Saturday, September 3, to launch its massive next-generation lunar rocket, five days after a pair of technical problems thwarted an initial attempt to launch the spacecraft from Earth for the first time, NASA officials said. Tuesday.
But Saturday’s odds of success appear to be only 40 percent more likely to be predicted by weather forecasts for favorable conditions for the day, while NASA acknowledges that some outstanding technical issues still need to be resolved.
The day after the first countdown ended on Monday, NASA officials said at a media briefing that Monday’s experiment helped resolve some issues and could address additional difficulties with a second launch attempt.
In this way, the launch rehearsal is essentially a live rehearsal, hopefully ending with a real and successful launch.
For now, plans call for the 32-story Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion capsule to remain on the launch pad to avoid returning the large spacecraft to the assembly building for wider deployment, NASA officials said. A round of tests and repairs.
If all goes according to plan, the SLS will launch Saturday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, during a two-hour launch window that opens at 2:17 p.m. for Orion’s launch in an unmanned vehicle. 6-week test flight around the moon and back.
The much-anticipated flight will launch NASA’s Artemis program, which succeeded the Apollo moon landings in the 1960s and 1970s before US human spaceflight efforts transitioned into low Earth orbit.
NASA’s first Artemis 1 launch attempt ended Monday after data showed that one of the rocket’s main stage engines failed to reach the appropriate pre-launch temperature needed to launch it, forcing NASA to pause the countdown and postpone the launch.
Mission managers told reporters Tuesday that they believe a faulty sensor in the rocket’s engine section is responsible for the engine cooling problem.
As a remedy to Saturday’s attempt, mission managers planned to start the engine cooling process about 30 minutes before the countdown begins, NASA Artemis launch manager Charlie Blackwell Thompson said. But a full explanation of the faulty sensor requires more data analysis by engineers.
“The sensor is behaving in a way that doesn’t match reality,” said John Honeycutt, SLS program manager at NASA.
Honeycutt said the sensors were last checked and calibrated at the missile factory a few months ago. Replacing the sensors would require returning the missile to the assembly building, a process that could delay the mission by several months.
The SLS-Orion’s first flight, a mission dubbed Artemis One, was designed to put the 5.75-million-pound vehicle through its paces on a rigorous test flight, pushing the limits of its design, and then deemed reliable enough by NASA to carry astronauts.
Artemis, named after the twin goddess of Apollo’s sisters in ancient Greek mythology, is seeking to return astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2025, although many experts believe the time frame may be years earlier.
The last human to walk on the Moon was the two-man Apollo 17 team in 1972, following in the footsteps of 10 other astronauts on five early missions starting with Apollo 11 in 1969.
Artemis is also seeking commercial and international help to eventually build a long-range lunar base as a staging ground for more ambitious human missions to Mars, a goal that NASA officials say may not be achieved until at least the late 2030s.
But NASA still has many steps to take along the way, starting with moving the SLS-Orion into space.
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