NASA suspends launch of Artemis I for the second time in a week

NASA suspends launch of Artemis I for the second time in a week
NASA suspends launch of Artemis I for the second time in a week

Bloomberg— NASA called off the launch attempt on Saturday. of the long-awaited Artemis I mission to send a rocket around the Moon, which is the second time in a week that engineers have decided to suspend the flight due to mechanical problems.

The suspended launch was due to a hydrogen leak in the engine cavitywhich prevented NASA engineers from fully loading liquid hydrogen into the rocket.

The problem will need to be resolved before NASA’s Artemis I mission can take off. A similar leak was one of several problems that contributed to the space agency’s decision to postpone the August 29 attempt.

The mission, called Artemis I, is the first step in NASA’s ambitious plan to send the first woman and the first person of color to the surface of the Moon as early as 2025. The goal is to prove that the new Space Launch System can send an uncrewed capsule called Orion into lunar orbit, before NASA feels comfortable putting astronauts on board.

After the break on Saturday, NASA did not immediately specify a date for the next launch attempt. The first opportunity is Monday, September 5.

“Please understand this is a test flight,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview before Monday’s aborted first launch attempt. “They stress it out and test it in a way that you would never do with humans on board. That is the goal of a test flight.”

Saturday’s launch attempt is more than a decade in the making. First conceived in 2010, the SLS was originally projected to launch in 2017. But its development has been long delayed, and its budget has skyrocketed the longer the rocket has been grounded. The cost of developing the rocket has skyrocketed from an initial $7 billion to about $23 billion, according to an estimate by the Planetary Society.

Over time, audits have revealed problems with the main contractors — Boeing Co. for the SLS and Lockheed Martin Corp. for the Orion capsule — as well as flaws in testing and construction.

NASA downplayed development issues as the original launch date approached. “We are developing new systems and new technologies,” Nelson said during a news conference ahead of Monday’s canceled attempt.

The Monday morning attempt was called off a minute into its launch window after a night of weather delays and rocket equipment failure.

When Artemis I launches, it will send an uncrewed Orion capsule into orbit around the Moon. The capsule will carry a mix of dummies and other science and technology payloads, with the mission to drop into a distant lunar orbit before returning to Earth and splashing around in the Pacific Ocean after a 37-day mission.

The article is in Spanish

Tags: NASA suspends launch Artemis time week

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