November 28, 2022

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NASA is delaying the launch of the Artemis 1 mission again.  In December, the "old" SLS missile

NASA is delaying the launch of the Artemis 1 mission again. In December, the “old” SLS missile

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SLS – NASA’s New Great Rocket

Artemis is second only to Apollo a program The spacecraft that will eventually allow Americans to stand on the moon. Before the manned landing is done, NASA She plans to send two expeditions (Artemis 1 and 2) to tour the Silver Globe. The problem is that this first mission was a big deal.

The start of Artemis 1 has been delayed again. The second time was a hurricane

Originally, Artemis 1 was supposed to be launched at the end of August, but the control sensors failed Temperatures one of the engines. The second launch was not caused by a slight fuel leak and the third launch was canceled due to the impending Hurricane Ian. For security reasons, at the end of September, the agency removed the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft from the launch site and moved them to the assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center.

The fourth attempt to start the Artemis mission is scheduled for November 14 (Monday). Preparations were to be made at the end of last week and refueling of the SLS missile will begin. We now know that none of this will come from this. Tropical Storm Nicole approaches the shores of Florida, which may turn into another storm tornado.

So NASA decided to postpone the launch of Artemis 1 again (already the fourth). The agency clarifies that the SLS and Orion would not be removed from the launch site, but that it was necessary to secure the missile and its surroundings. All important elements have already been dismantled or protected from the wind. In addition, the area was searched for bulk elements that could infect SLS.

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NASA announces that the SLS rocket can withstand wind gusts of up to 137 km / h at an altitude of 18 meters. The expected wind strength should not exceed this value. The mission team, working on the site, is to turn to the Kennedy Center premises in time of a storm and constantly monitor the situation.

Fortunately, the delay should be minimal, as the mission’s new launch date has tentatively been set for Wednesday, November 16. The next backup start window is November 19. The launch will take place, of course, provided that Nicole does not cause any damage that would jeopardize the safety of the entire operation.

There is still a month left. After that, the SLS missile must be sent for examination

Another problem is that NASA has less and less time. as noted Space.com website, The “expiration date” for SLS rocket boosters is ending. These are two small, solid-fueled Northrop Grumman rockets (the main part of the rocket uses hydrogen and an oxidizer). The side boosters are attached to the SLS core and generate additional thrust in the first stage of takeoff.

Final preparations for Orion’s launch towards the moon began well before the first launch date (August), and the pre-scheduled date for trouble-free operation of the boosters ends in mid-December (9.12 exactly for the first and 14.12 for the second). Furthermore, on December 15, the environmental permit for the launch will expire.

The continued delay meant that NASA had less than a month to launch the SLS rocket. If the take-off is unsuccessful by then, the SLS will have to be removed from the mount and the side reinforcements should be carefully checked. Only then will it be known if its use is still possible and safe for Artemis’ first mission.

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You can read more about Artemis 1 and the entire moon flight program at Gazeta.pl