NASA will make a second attempt this Saturday to launch the Artemis I lunar mission
NASA will make a second attempt this Saturday to launch into space from Cape Canaveral (Florida) the unmanned lunar mission Artemis Iwhich marks the beginning of the race for a future colonization of the terrestrial satellite.
The objective of this historic mission is to test the capabilities of the powerful SLS rocket (Space Launch System), 98 meters high, and the Orion spacecraft, with capacity for four astronauts.
The two-hour launch window opens at 2:17 p.m. local time (18:17 GMT) Saturday day 3 and if for technical, meteorological or other reasons we have to delay the takeoff againthe next attempt will be made on Monday, September 5.
It will carry out a six-week mission and orbit the moon
It is expected that, as happened on August 29, when it was necessary to cancel a first attempt due to failure of one of the four motors RS-25 of the SLS rocket, the so-called “Coast of Space”, the region where the space center is located, se filled with visitors eager to watch the launch.
The SLS rocket, with a cost of 4,100 million dollars (about 4,088 million euros at current exchange rates), will carry the Orion spacecraft in its upper cone, which will carry out a six-week mission during which it will orbit the moon.
Orion, the fastest and most powerful spacecraft ever built, capable of reaching 39,428 km/h, will have traveled more than two million kilometers when it returns to Earth. If the launch takes place this Saturday and there are no unforeseen events in the mission, Orion will splash down in the Pacific Ocean west of San Diego (California) on October 11.
Adjustments and repairs before takeoff
Since the failed attempt on August 29, lTeams have updated procedures, practiced operations, and refined timelinesas indicated by NASA.
Among other things, rThey repaired a leak in one of the pipes, called umbilicals by NASA, ranging from the mobile launch tower to the rocket and spacecraft to supply power, fuel, coolant and communications. Teams also readjusted or tightened bolts to ensure a tight seal when feeding supercooled propellants through those lines.
While no leak was detected at room temperature, crews will continue to monitor the umbilicals during tanking operations, NASA said.
Teams will adjust procedures to cool engines, also called a start-up purge test, 30 to 45 minutes earlier in the countdown during the liquid hydrogen fast-fill phase for the core stage. This will give additional time to cool down the engines to temperatures suitable for launch.
NASA has two more Artemis missions planned
Space Force meteorologists US forecasts 60% favorable weather conditionswhich will improve throughout the window for Saturday.
Following the historic Artemis I mission, NASA has two more Artemis missions planned. The second will be a manned trip to the Moon and the third will put the first crew in more than 50 years on the surface of the Earth’s satellite. In that crew will be the first woman and the first person of color to travel to the Moon.
NASA’s Apollo 17 mission, launched in December 1972, was the last in which American astronauts traveled to the Moon and walked on its surface.
Man walked on the Moon for the first time on July 20, 1969. during NASA’s historic Apollo XI mission. The Saturn V rocket, with the Eagle spacecraft at its tip, took off from Cape Canaveral four days earlier with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin as crew members.