The Mission Artemis I has given her some headaches POT. Twice the launch of the SLS megarocket and the Orion spacecraft, destined to reach the orbit of the Moon, was suspended. Why is it causing so many problems?
NASA’s Artemis Program seeks to bring the first woman and the next man on the Moon: it would be scheduled to do so in Artemis III, by 2025. The first mission will transfer three mannequins only to orbit, in order to evaluate the effects of radiation; in the second, the designated astronauts will make the same journey.
Only on Artemis III will the surface of the Moon be reached.
To do this, the SLS megarocket will be used, almost 100 meters high and with power never seen before, and the Orion spacecraft.
bill nelson, NASA administrator, spoke about the suspensions: “I can say that these teams know exactly what they are doing. I am very proud of them.”
The reasons for the postponement of NASA’s Artemis I Mission
The reason for the suspension is a hydrogen leak, which occurred at a quick disconnect, an interface between the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line and the Space Launch System rocket.
As the rocket was being reloaded with supercold hydrogen propellant, the leak occurred. When charging hydrogen, the fuel is pumped slowly, increasing its speed in the so-called “fast fill”.
It was at that precise moment that the leak occurred.
Let’s remember that the initial date of shipment would be August 29, moving later to September 3: both days the problems occurred, first a small leak and then a larger one. Subsequently, a roadmap was established for the review and necessary work.
The megarocket has been moved back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where the NASA team will work on the leak.
When would you try to launch Artemis I again?
After solving the leak problem, comes another one: the new release date. These are programmed by NASA, complying with a joint schedule with companies such as SpaceX, and depending on the atmospheric situation.
The next release period runs from September 19 to October 4, but it collides with the shipment of the Crew-5 mission, in which astronauts will travel to the International Space Station. This is scheduled for October 3.
“We try to stress that this is a test and that a test has some risk. We emphasized it in all the public comments we made, so that expectations were adjusted to reality.”
— Bill Nelson, NASA administrator.
The next release period It is from October 17 to 31, with 11 possible windows.
And that’s without taking into account the weather in Florida, which can change in the following days. So there is no specific date for the launch of the SLS mega rocket and the Orion spacecraft.
What NASA scientists hope is that the event can occur, at least, at the end of 2022.