Big setback for Artemis Moon launch mission

The dates for the launch of its Artemis I mission have been rescheduled after two previous unsuccessful attempts. Here’s what NASA said.

After a couple of technical snags which prevented previous launches, it seems like NASA is finally ready to launch its Artemis I mission to the Moon in the coming weeks. The space agency previously attempted to launch the Orion spacecraft with the help of its new Space Launch System on August 29 and then on September 2 but suffered multiple setbacks on both occasions. NASA has planned another launch window for its first mission to the moon in decades.

NASA recently tweeted, “Our #Artemis I flight test around the Moon will launch no earlier than Sept. 27, with a backup opportunity of Oct. 2 under review.” This means that the space agency has finally fixed the issues which plagued the previous launch attempts. In a recent blog, NASA has revealed that the agency will attempt a demonstration test on September 21 before the planned launch on September 27. NASA has scheduled October 2 as the backup date for the launch.

NASA said in the blog, “The updated dates represent careful consideration of multiple logistical topics, including the additional value of having more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test, and subsequently more time to prepare for the launch. The dates also allow managers to ensure teams have enough rest and to replenish supplies of cryogenic propellants.”

NASA’s previous attempts to launch Artemis I mission

NASA’s first attempt to launch the Artemis I spacecraft resulted in failure due to a malfunction in the core stage of one of the four RS-25 engines of the Space Launch System (SLS). Additionally, engineers also detected a “leak” in the inner tank of the upper stage. There was a visible build-up of ice and frost and a trail of vapour could be seen which led to NASA scrubbing the launch.

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NASA’s Artemis 1 launch was scrubbed again on September 2 due to yet another issue. As soon as NASA engineers sent a command to fill the hydrogen tanks, the alert went up and a hydrogen leak in the tanks was spotted. Even after numerous attempts to repair the leak, the team were unsuccessful and the launch was scrubbed again.

NASA will hope that this time the launch takes place without any problems.

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