NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket remains on the launch pad, at least for now.
Artemis 1 The new one will be used by NASA space launch system (SLS) megarocket to send an unmanned Orion capsule to lunar orbit and back. NASA attempted to launch the epic mission on Saturday (September 3) but was halted when it was unable to troubleshoot a supercooled liquid hydrogen leak (LH2) Drive in time to take off.
The leak occurred at a “quick disconnect,” an interface that connects the SLS’s core stage to a thruster line coming from the giant rocket’s moving launch tower. After analyzing the problem for a few days, the Artemis 1 team decided to replace the seal on the malpractice in the quick dismissal, agency officials announced at Tuesday evening update (Opens in a new tab) (September 6).
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This work will be performed at Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, where the Artemis 1 stack has been placed for the past three weeks.
“Performing the work in the pad requires technicians to create an enclosure around the work area to protect the instruments from weather and other environmental conditions, but it enables engineers to test the repair under very cold or very cold conditions,” NASA officials wrote in the newspaper. Tuesday update.
“Performing work on the board also allows teams to collect as much data as possible to understand the cause of the problem,” they added. “Teams may return the missile to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to perform additional work that does not require the use of cryogenic facilities available only on the platform.”
A return to the VAB may be required whether or not the team wants to make further repairs there. The US Space Force The Artemis 1 Flight Termination System (FTS) certification, which would destroy the missile if it deviated from its course during takeoff, was certified for only 25 days. (The Space Force oversees the Eastern Range, a massive rocket launch area that includes the KSC.) That deadline will be up by September 19, when the next Artemis 1 launch window opens.
Re-accreditation requires the FTS exam, which can only happen at the VAB. NASA officials have said they may apply for another waiver to extend the certification period, which would allow Artemis 1 to stay on the platform longer, but it’s unclear at this point if they will. (Artemis 1 has already received one of these waivers, from 20 to 25 days.)
Saturday’s scrub was the second for Artemis 1. The first, which Signed August 29, prompted by a measurement indicating that one of the four SLS primary-stage motors was not cooling to the appropriate pre-operating temperature. The Artemis 1 team quickly concluded that the reading was caused by a faulty temperature sensor and decided to go ahead with a try on Saturday.
The team also caused issues with the LH2 leak during the August 29 attempt, but that leak was much smaller than the leak the team is working on now.
Artemis 1 has two launch windows available in the next two months. The first runs from September 19 to October 4, and the second is open from October 17 to October 31. It is almost certain that the return to VAB will be placed on the 19th of September – October. 4 window out of reach.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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