Nasa cancelled Monday’s launch of Artemis 1, the first US moon rocket meant for humans in 50 years, due to a “engine bleed” 40 minutes before liftoff. NASA engineers at Cape Canaveral, Florida, detected an issue with one of the SLS rocket’s four core-stage engines while loading fuel overnight. This fuel will get the spacecraft to the far side of the moon and back in 42 days.
Monday’s 8.33am (1.33pm BST) launch window passed without a repair. They’re investigating the problem to see if they’re ready by September 2. Because of the difficulty, mission managers weren’t confident they could meet the first backup date. The problem began when engineers increased fuel line pressure to “condition” the cryogenic engines for launch.
Launch control communicator Derrol Nail claimed the engine didn’t reach the desired temperature. The rocket will remain fuelled on launchpad 39B at Kennedy Space Center as engineers gather more data.
“The rocket is stable” “The team couldn’t get past the engine bleed that showed the wrong temperature,” Nail added. Engineers are gathering as much data as possible before emptying the rocket.
Later Monday, a decision was expected about relaunching. The unmanned Artemis voyage will test the SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule before humans return to the moon after 50 years.
If Artemis 1 works, astronauts will fly 40,000 miles past the moon in 2024. First moon landing since Apollo 17 in 1972 happened a year later. Nasa will send a woman to the moon. About 250,000 people went to Florida’s space coast on Monday to see a historic event that has been postponed until later this week or September or October if experts can’t figure out why the engine leaked.
The Boeing-made rocket’s engines ceased working during a “hot fire” test in January when it ran for eight minutes. The project was three years late and $2.55 billion over budget. The entire cost of Artemis to the US taxpayer is estimated to reach $93 billion (£79 billion) by 2025. Its long-term goal is to deliver the first humans to Mars in 15 to 20 years.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, a former space shuttle astronaut, said there’s a bigger incentive to leave new footprints on the moon now than when Apollo sent 12 men on six trips. Nelson remarked on Meet the Press on Sunday, “We need to spend considerably longer on the moon than just a few days.” “We’ll live and learn this time. We’ll develop new technology for Mars travel.
“This helps us live on other planets. They might be airborne worlds or Mars. It’s part of our effort to explore the universe. NASA’s shuttle programme terminated in 2011 and only reached low Earth orbit. SpaceX and Blue Origin have flown to or plan to fly to the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth.
Artemis is NASA’s first deep-space mission in years. Artemis requires largely on multinational contractors and collaborators, unlike Apollo and shuttle. Boeing makes SLS. Orion was conceived by Lockheed Martin. ESA provides the service module, the spacecraft’s engine for its mission to the moon after SLS’s solid rocket boosters and core stage propel it beyond Earth’s gravity.
Orion will go farther from Earth than any human-rated spaceship before. It will deliver energy, water, oxygen, and nitrogen to the capsule and maintain it on course until it burns up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Leave a Reply