(ORDO NEWS) — On Saturday (September 3), NASA abandoned a second attempt to lift its new 30-story rocket and send an uncrewed test capsule to the moon after engineers discovered a fuel leak.
With millions around the world and hundreds of thousands on nearby beaches awaiting the massive Space Launch System (SLS) historic launch, a leak was found near the base of the rocket as supercold liquid hydrogen was pumped into it.
“The launch director has withdrawn from today’s launch of Artemis I,” NASA said in a statement. “Multiple troubleshooting efforts in the area of the leak … did not fix the problem.”
Although the area around the launch site was off-limits to the public, about 400,000 people gathered nearby to see – and hear – the most powerful craft NASA has ever launched into space.
Monday’s initial launch attempt was also halted after engineers found a fuel leak and a sensor showed that one of the rocket’s four main engines had failed. too hot.
Early Saturday, launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson gave the go-ahead to fill the rocket’s tanks with cryogenic fuel.
About 3 million liters of ultracold liquid hydrogen and oxygen were to be pumped into the spacecraft, but the process soon ran into problems.
A new date for the next attempt was not immediately announced.
After the last delay back-up opportunities on Monday or Tuesday. After that, the next launch window will not be until September 19 due to the position of the Moon.
The purpose of the Artemis 1 mission is to make sure that the Orion capsule mounted on the SLS rocket is safe to carry astronauts in the future.
Sensor-equipped dummies will replace astronauts on mission and will record levels of acceleration, vibration and radiation.
Twin sister of Apollo h2
The spacecraft will take several days to reach the Moon, traveling about 60 miles (100 kilometers) at closest approach. The capsule will fire its engines to enter a deep retrograde orbit (DRO) 40,000 miles from the Moon, a record for a human-carrying spacecraft.
The journey is expected to last about six weeks and one of her main tasks is to test the capsule’s heat shield, which at 16 feet in diameter is the largest ever built.
Upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the heat shield would have to withstand a speed of 25,000 miles. per hour and a temperature of 5000 degrees Fahrenheit (2760 degrees Celsius) – about half that of the Sun.
Artemis is named after the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo, after whom the first flights to the moon were made.
Unlike the Apollo missions, which sent only white men to the moon between 1969 and 1972, the Artemis missions will see the first person of color and the first woman walk on the lunar surface.
The state audit estimates that the cost of the Artemis program will rise to $93 billion by 2025. The cost of a single launch is a whopping $4.1 billion.
The next mission, Artemis 2, will take astronauts to the moon without landing on its surface.
The Artemis 3 crew is scheduled to land on the moon no earlier than 2025, with later missions envisioning a lunar space station and a sustained presence on the lunar surface.
According to NASA chief Bill Nelson, a crewed flight to the red planet by the end of the 2030s could be attempted by Orion, which will last several years.
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