NASA cancels new moon rocket launch After several incidents involving fuel leaks, a major test flight was scheduled for this Monday.
“#Artemis I launch will not take place today as crews are working on an engine leak. Teams will continue to collect data and we will let you know the timing of the next release attempt.”, the space agency noted.
Friday, September 2, is the next launch date for a manned mission that will mark the start of Artemis, the US space program’s return to the moon.
Managers They stopped the countdown with 40 minutes to go When the hydrogen team discussed the plans with the mission director.
NASA pointed out After the two-hour launch time, the test was still underway Why did the purge test to get the lower core stage RS-25 engines into the correct temperature range for takeoff fail?
Earlier, air traffic controllers had stopped the refueling operation, which was already an hour late due to a storm at sea. The process was slowly restarted to see if the hydrogen fuel leak would worsen, which would almost certainly end the countdown, but the alarms forced another break. The leak was in the same location identified during the spring inspection.
“When the space launch system transitioned from slow filling operations with liquid hydrogen in the rocket core stage to fast filling operations, the missile controllers observed an increase in the amount of hydrogen expelled in the purge can (…). Engineers have started reverse flow of liquid hydrogen in the center stage and are currently fixing the problem,” the company said.
98-meter (322-ft) Space Launch System rocket It is the most powerful ever built by NASA. Half a century after NASA’s Apollo program, which brought 12 astronauts to the moon, it is set to send an empty capsule into lunar orbit.
In the first hour, the live broadcast counter marked it It was scheduled to take off around 8 a.m. (Florida local time, 12 GMT), but was canceled 40 minutes later.
If this six-week test trip goes well, astronauts could return to the moon in a few years. However, NASA acknowledges that the risks are high and the flight could be disrupted.
Instead of astronauts, they hold on Three test dummies for the Orion capsule to measure vibration, acceleration and radiation, one of the greatest dangers to humans in deep space. The capsule alone has more than 1,000 sensors.
Officials said Sunday that neither the rocket nor the capsule were damaged during Saturday’s storm; The ground troops were also unharmed. Five lightning strikes were confirmed to have struck the 600-foot (180-meter) towers surrounding the rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Impacts were insufficient for further testing. “Clearly the system is designed,” said Jeff Spaulding, NASA’s senior test manager.
More storms were expected. Although forecasters estimate an 80% chance of acceptable weather by Monday morning, conditions are expected to deteriorate during the two-hour release window.
Despite the lack of passengers, thousands of people filled the beach to witness the launch of the Space Launch System, or SLS for short in English. Vice President, Kamala HarrisTraveled to Orlando with her husband, but never made the hour-long drive to Cape Canaveral.
Hydrogen leaks have plagued NASA’s products since April, requiring constant repairs. Despite some losses, the experiment was repeated in June with greater success. Officials said they weren’t sure if the repair had worked until Monday when an attempt was made to load the rocket’s tanks with about a million gallons (4.5 million liters) of cold fuel.
Publishing director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and his team also had to deal with one Communication problem Orion capsule.
Engineers tried to understand It takes 11 minutes It was detected in communications between launch control and Orion on Sunday afternoon. Although the problem was resolved by Monday morning, NASA still needs to know its origin before executing a launch.
The first flight of NASA’s 21st-century lunar exploration program, named Artemis after the twin sister of the mythical god Apollo, is years behind schedule. A series of postponements caused budget overruns: the demonstration cost 4.1 billion dollars.
If the test goes well, a second flight will carry astronauts to orbit the moon on a mission starting in 2024. Then two people could land by the end of 2025. NASA has set its sights on the South Pole. Satellite.
During the Apollo missions, 12 astronauts landed on the moon between 1969 and 1972, staying a few days at most. NASA wants to establish a lunar base on Artemis missions where astronauts can stay for several weeks. The next step will be Mars, perhaps in the late 2030s or early 2040s.
(With information from AP)