NASA will retry the launch of the Artemis 1 mission on Saturday

SLS on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SLS on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
picture: NASA-J. Kolsky

The NASA mission management team has made the decision to retry the Artemis 1 launch Saturday afternoon space launch systemsaying that the faulty sensor is responsible for the scrub last Monday.

The 322-foot (98 m) Space Launch System (SLS) currently stands proud on Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but hopefully it won’t take much longer. After reviewing the data from rub on monday, NASA’s mission management team has decided to move forward with the mission, telling reporters Tuesday night that the next launch attempt will occur on Saturday. NASA had previously selected Friday 2 September and Monday 5 September as possible launch days, so the decision to attempt the launch on Saturday came as a complete surprise.

At the Briefing, Mark Berger, A meteorologist with the US Air Force’s Weather Squadron evaluated a 60% chance of a weather violation occurring within the launch window. It sounds depressing, but Berger said it’s likely to be afternoon showers intermittent And that They “tend to have a lot of real estate in between” so the launch opportunity will probably show up in a couple of hours. In the event of peeling caused by bad weather, another launch attempt could be made within 48 hours, said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch manager.

All eyes are on the Kennedy Space Center, where NASA attempts to launch the largest rocket the space agency has ever built. Departing the launch pad with 8.8 million pounds of thrust, the SLS will attempt to deliver the unmanned Orion capsule into space, where it will make a round-trip to the moon and back. Artemis 1 It is a test mission intended to pave the way for the manned Artemis 2 mission in 2024 and the manned Artemis 3 mission to the lunar surface later this decade. through Artemis programNASA is trying to return humans to the lunar environment and keep them there.

The reason for rubbing on Monday was related to the main stage engine that had not reached Extremely cold temperature is required for firing. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, SLS program manager John Honeycutt said the problem was the result of a faulty sensor, rather than the engine failing to reach the required cooling temperature. “We’re seeing some good in the data,” he said, which leads the team to be optimistic about the next attempt to cool down the engines. However, Honeycutt said his team is developing a plan should a similar engine reading emerge during Saturday’s launch attempt. “We’ll have a go/no-go plan instead of sitting around scratching our heads,” he added.

Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, said that an adjustment will be made to the loading procedures, as the teams will start cooling the engineTake down earlier than usual. The SLS features four RS-25 engines that must be supercooled before the sudden influx of coolant thrusts during launch. On Monday, sensor readings indicated that Engine 3 had failed to reach its target temperature, but NASA says it is very likely that it has reached the desired temperature of about -420 degrees Fahrenheit (-250 degrees Celsius).

In addition, the teams will perform work on the pad to address the leak seen in the secret hydrogen tail service mast, Sarafin added. “We want to do some inspections and we want to do some re-torque,” Blackwell Thompson said of the upcoming platform work.

Monday’s scrub sparked criticism from experts who He complained that NASA mainly used the launch attempt as fifth rehearsals. Four previous pilots held earlier this year were not fully operational, with nearlyMOnly 10% of the test targets are missing. Regardless of the Green Run tests conducted at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the countdown to launch did not last longer than the T-29.

The SLS may make a flight on Saturday, but it will require NASA to venture into uncharted territory, especially during the very late stages of launch. Hopefully, NASA’s extensive experience with rockets will prevail, and we will finally see this majestic rocket soar across the Florid Riversky.

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