NASA delays Artemis I’s launch for a second time

NASA has as soon as once more scrubbed the launch of its Space Launch System (or SLS) rocket after engineers failed to repair a persistent hydrogen leak.

The hydrogen leak was first seen this morning, quickly after the rocket started being fueled with liquid hydrogen. The crew made three troubleshooting makes an attempt, however a leak was detected after every effort to repair the issue. After the third time, engineers really useful that the launch be a ‘no go’.

The SLS is supposed to be one of many workhorses of NASA’s Artemis program, and is tasked with launching the Orion crew capsule that may hopefully ferry astronauts to the moon.

The company additionally scrubbed the earlier launch try of the SLS, which was imagined to occur on August twenty ninth, citing points with the engine bleed system meant to assist the engines get to a correct temperature earlier than takeoff. A hydrogen leak was additionally detected throughout that launch try.

NASA has one other launch window left — from 5:12 PM to six:42 PM on September fifth — earlier than it faces a significant delay. The flight termination system that’s meant to maintain the rocket from changing into a harmful missile if one thing goes very flawed throughout launch must be re-tested comparatively continuously (it’s imagined to be each 20 days, however NASA got that extended to 25 days), and that testing can’t be finished on the launch pad.

Given that the rocket rolled out to the launchpad on August sixteenth, NASA’s time will just about be up after September fifth. If the SLS doesn’t launch then, it’ll need to be rolled again to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building the place the termination system might be re-tested. That’ll take time, doubtlessly pushing this launch again to late October on the earliest.

If that launch is profitable although, it ought to pave the best way for a mission subsequent 12 months the place NASA sends a crew up within the Orion capsule for the primary time. They’ll simply be flying across the moon, not touchdown on it — that milestone is deliberate for 2025, once we’ll hopefully see the primary girl stroll on the moon.


Additional reporting by Mary Beth Griggs

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