NASA postpones the second attempt to launch the Artemis I mission to the Moon until Saturday

At NASA has postponed until Saturday – instead of Friday, as planned – the launch into space from Cape Canaveral, on the east coast of Florida (USA), of the unmanned mission Artemis I bound for the Moon. This was communicated this Tuesday by those responsible for the program after suspending the takeoff on Monday due to a technical problem.

“Teams reviewed data from Monday’s launch attempt of the Artemis I mission and are moving forward with a second launch attempt on Saturday, September 3,” NASA announced Tuesday.

The “window” of the new launch opens that day from 2:17 p.m. local time (6:17 p.m. GMT), as announced by those in charge of the space program.

In a teleconference, Mike Sarafin, director of the Artemis I, has confirmed that, after carefully studying what happened, it has been determined that the main failure had to do with the adequate temperature that the engine must have at the moment of takeoff, after of the liquid hydrogen charge.

In this way, one of the four RS-25 engines of the powerful SLS rocket designed for this mission could not reach the proper temperature range required for the engine to start at liftoff.

On Monday, technicians unsuccessfully tried a series of correctives until they were finally forced to suspend the launch.

“We agreed on what was called option one, which consisted of operationally changing the charging procedure and starting to cool down our engine earlier,” Sarafin detailed.

According to information from NASA on its Twitter account, the Artemis I assembly, which includes the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft, continues this Tuesday on launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

A setback in a historic mission

Monday’s suspension was a setback for a mission that some media estimated at 4,000 million dollars, and that meant the full-fledged debut of the SLS rocket, 98 meters high (more than the statue of liberty in New York) and the most powerful manufactured to date, thanks to its 4 RS-25 engines and 2 attached propellers.

The mission aims to make a round trip to the Moon and seeks to test the capabilities of the SLS rocket and the Orion capsule.

The Artemis I also seeks to calibrate the capabilities of the Orion ship, which can fit up to four crew members, and with water and oxygen reserves that would allow it to travel around 20 days independently.

If the new attempt fails on Saturday, there is another backup opportunity for the Artemis I mission to take off on September 5, according to the program directors.

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Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.

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