NASA is delaying Artemis 1 rocket launch

NASA is delaying Artemis 1 rocket launch

September 01, 2022: -NASA delayed its Artemis I launch Monday after issues emerged during the countdown, delaying the debut of its towering rocket and its long-awaited mission to the moon.

The agency is slating to launch its Artemis I mission from the Kennedy Space Center in a two-hour launch window that is opening at 8:33 a.m. ET, which sends the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule on a more than monthlong journey around the moon.

But NASA could not resolve a temperature problem identified with one of the four liquid-fueled engines with under two hours to go in the countdown.

The uncrewed launching marks the debut of the powerful rocket assembled and kicks off NASA’s long-awaited return to the moon’s surface. It’s the initial mission in NASA’s Artemis lunar program, which is anticipated to land the agency’s astronauts on the moon by its third mission in the year 2025.

While Artemis I is not carrying astronauts or land on the moon, the mission is critical to show that NASA’s monster rocket and deep space capsule deliver on their promised abilities. Artemis I is delaying postponed for years, with the program which uses billions more than budget.

NASA has backup launch dates planned for September 2 and September 5. Still, during a press conference on Monday afternoon, officials couldn’t say whether the engine issue would be fixed before either of those dates.

“There’s a non-zero chance we’ll have a launch on Friday,” NASA’s Artemis mission manager Mike Sarafin told reporters before adding, “we need time to look at all the information, all the data.”

NASA’s team is expected to meet on Tuesday afternoon to identify the next steps for Artemis I. If a launch attempt in the next week isn’t possible, the SLS rocket may need to be rolled off the launchpad for what would likely be a lengthy delay.

The possibility of moving the rocket off the launchpad “is getting ahead of our data reviews,” Sarafin added. “If we can resolve this operationally at the pad, then there won’t be any need for that.”

Sarafin also noted the engine temperature problem was a known risk, as the agency had not completed a fueling test known as a “wet dress rehearsal” after four attempts this year.

On Monday, During the countdown, the agency even found a hydrogen leak in the engines and a crack in the thermal protection system material that safeguards the rocket’s core. However, those issues were resolved before the launch was called off for the day.

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NASA is delaying Artemis 1 rocket launch