The Artemis 1 mission is postponed. After two failed launch attempts, everything indicates that we will have to wait until mid-October to see it underway. As long as they manage to resolve the incidents.
Artemis 1 mission postponed due to two different issues
It must be remembered that the Artemis 1 mission was initially scheduled for August 29. On that day, the countdown stopped with 40 minutes left before launch. One of the motors (number 3) did not reach the necessary temperature.
Finally, it was determined that the repair would take too long and that, therefore, there was no possibility of launching the rocket before the window ended. It was decided that it was delayed until Saturday, September 3.
By Saturday, NASA had made some changes to the fueling process. The main objective was to have time to be able to act in case, again, that number three engine gave problems.
The story was going to be different this time. The launch was aborted nails on 3 hours in advance, with respect to the moment in which the takeoff could have been carried out. The weather, which was initially feared, was not the problem.
This time, it was the propellant charge. Specifically, the connection point between the loading system, on the platform, and the rocket, caused problems. The deep-frozen hydrogen was not being loaded into the rocket.
Repair was attempted with three different methods. All were unsuccessful and it became clear that there were no options to keep the launch on Saturday. Now, NASA finds itself in a somewhat complicated situation.
The launch will probably go to October
Fixes for the issues that surfaced this week rule out the possibility that Artemis I could launch before the current window ends (which ends this Tuesday, September 6). Each launch window really comes down to several factors.
In essence, necessary certain parameters are met, such as the lighting conditions in the splashdown (when returning to Earth), as well as the duration of the mission and some other factors.
The next opportunity begins on September 17.
However, from the space agency they have been doubtful about that option. Seems very improbable that the repairs have been carried out before that date. Already on Saturday there was talk that it would be a job of several weeks.
This would therefore force wait for the next launch windowwhich begins on October the 17th. Depending on the extent of the repairs, it may not be possible to launch the rocket even then.
There is another launch that has to be done: a manned mission, Crew-5.
We will have to wait for the mission team to have more information to know when we could see the next attempt. Meanwhile, in addition, there is another launch that has to be made. Is about Crew-5a manned mission.
Its destination will be the International Space Station and it is expected to launch on October 3. This, and the fact that the rocket will likely have to be moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building makes September seem unrealistic.
Artemis 1 delays aren’t necessarily a disappointment
In fact, in all probability, it will be necessary check rocket safety system (which is responsible for detonating it if it moves away from its course, to avoid problems). Something that will force the rocket to be taken to the facility.
These cancellations have naturally been met with disappointment among the public. However, Bill Nelson himself, current administrator of NASA, explained at a press conference last Saturday that we are facing something normal.
Release delays are a very common occurrence. In this case, he emphasized, “it is even more important because there will be no launch before the rocket is in perfect condition.” It is not going to launch if you do not have all the guarantees.
After all, as I explained, the cost of two aborted launches is much less than the cost of a lost rocket (which would have to be rebuilt). The only thing that can be done, at this time, is to wait for the team’s analysis.
The cost of two aborted launches is far less than the cost of one lost rocket.
In the next few days we will have a better idea of what NASA’s plans are from now on. The good news is that, anyway, this delay does not impact manned missionsArtemis II and III, which keep their dates.
Respectively, the intention is that Artemis II launches in 2024carrying a crew into orbit around the Moon. Artemis IIIwhich will carry a crew to the surface, remains planned for sometime in 2025.
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