Miami – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) hopes the leak of liquid hydrogen in the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will be resolved in hopes of reattempting the launch of the Artemis I mission on September 23.
If the launch also fails, the space agency has designated September 27 as the second option.
During a teleconference, Jim Free, associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Missions Directorate, said the 23rd launch window would begin at 6:47 a.m. and last two hours, while the 27th window would begin at 11:37 a.m. and last for 70 minutes, both in Eastern Daylight Time.
But these dates depend, among other things, on the tests scheduled for the 17th of this month, during which NASA engineers will test the first and second stages of the SLS rocket and solve the sealing problem that caused a hydrogen leak. liquid during the take-off attempt last Saturday.
On this day, NASA suspended for the second time the start of the historic Artemis I mission, which will pave the way for the return of astronauts to the Moon. The suspension of the launch was due to a leak of liquid hydrogen during the rocket filling process which forced the countdown to stop about 3 hours before the launch window opened.
For now, the 98-meter (322-foot) SLS rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft remains on Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where testing and analysis is taking place under plastic sheeting. to protect the workers and the rocket from the weather.
The objective of the first Artemis mission is to test the capabilities of the SLS and the Orion spacecraft before a manned voyage tentatively scheduled for 2024, followed by a third voyage in which, for the first time since 1972, American astronauts, including a woman and a person of color will set foot on the lunar surface.
Artemis I, which will take off without a crew, is scheduled for 37 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes, during which time, not counting the round trips, the Orion spacecraft will be in orbit around the moon.