The launch of NASA’s new mega rocket to the moon has been postponed again. During final preparations, crews attempted, but were unsuccessful, on Saturday, September 3, to resolve the fuel leak issue. Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson made the final decision to cancel from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a NASA commentator said in a video broadcast.
The launch of the orange and white SLS rocket, which will be its first flight, could take place on Monday or Tuesday, but NASA teams must analyze all the data before deciding on a new date. After Mars, no new launch is possible before September 19 due to the position of Earth and Moon.
Without a crew on board, the mission was to launch a new Artemis program fifty years after the last Apollo flight. Liftoff was scheduled for 2:17 p.m. local time (8:17 p.m. Paris time) from Launch Pad 39B at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, and was possible for the next two hours if necessary. Weather conditions were 60% favorable at the start of this shooting window and should gradually progress to 80% later.
Just before 6 a.m. local time (12 p.m. Paris time), approval was given to begin filling the rocket’s tanks with its cryogenic fuel — in total, about three million liters of hydrogen and ultra-cold liquid oxygen.
But an hour later, a leak was discovered at the base of the rocket, at the level of the pipe leading to the hydrogen tank. The run was halted while crews searched for a solution.
Monday, whenFirst tryThe launch was canceled at the last minute due to technical problems, particularly with the cooling of the engines.
A swing for a trip to Mars
The purpose of the unmanned mission, named Artemis-1, is to verify that the Orion capsule on top of the rocket is safe enough to carry astronauts in the future. Thanks to this new ship, the US space agency wants to reconnect with distant human exploration, the moon is a thousand times farther away than the International Space Station.
After all, NASA wants to establish a permanent human presence there at this point in time as the impetus for a trip to Mars.
Over the long weekend in the US, there were up to 400,000 Especially expected to appreciate departures from the surrounding beaches. There were many astronauts Frenchman Thomas Pesquet also made the trip.
This amazing machine only has a few hours left on Earth: the launch window opens at 8:17 p.m. The weather is great and… https://t.co/Qfu707foS3
If successful, two minutes after takeoff, boosters Had to fall In the Atlantic. Eight minutes later, the main stage was split. Then, about an hour and thirty minutes later, a final push from the upper stage puts the capsule on its way to the Moon, where it should be reached several days later. The trip is expected to last about six weeks. Orion will travel as far as 64,000 kilometers behind the moon, the furthest of any living spacecraft so far.
A journey of 2.1 million kilometers
Artemis-1’s main mission was to test the capsule’s heat shield, the largest ever built. When it enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 40,000 km per hour, its temperature reaches 2,800 degrees Celsius. In total, the ship will have to travel about 2.1 million kilometers until it lands in the Pacific Ocean.
The full success of the mission will be a relief for NASA, which expects a first launch for SLS in 2017 and will invest more than $90 billion in its new lunar program by the end of 2025. , according to public audit. .
The name Artemis was chosen for the female figure, the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo, echoing the Apollo program, which sent only white men to the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972. This time NASA wants to let the first person in. Color and the first woman to walk on the moon.
The next mission, Artemis-2, will take astronauts to the Moon in 2024 without landing there. This honor will be reserved for the crew of Artemis-3 in 2025. NASA plans to launch one mission per year. It would be a question of building a space station in lunar orbit, a baptized gateway and a base on the surface of the moon.
There, NASA wants to test the technologies needed to send the first humans to Mars: new clothes, a vehicle, the possible use of lunar water…
According to NASA President Bill Nelson, a trip to the Red Planet aboard Orion could last several years and could be attempted in the late 2030s.
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