The longer delay can be attributed to several factors, including scheduling quirks, potential traffic at the launch site, and NASA’s desire to make sure the latest problems with leaky fuel are resolved.
Also, when it comes to setting a new release date, the timing gets complicated.
timing is everything
The latest launch window ended on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and NASA said there was no way the SLS would be ready for flight during that time.
Exactly what duration and window NASA will target depends on how well it will coordinate with SpaceX regarding the Crew-5 launch, how long the SLS rocket will stay on the launch pad while engineers work on the leak issue, etc. , depends on various factors. Jim Free, NASA’s Deputy Director of Exploration Systems Development, said:
super cool fuel
When an SLS rocket is refueled, large amounts of supercooled liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen must be pumped into the rocket’s tanks. When filling with hydrogen, the fuel starts to pump in slowly, but then speeds up with so-called “fast fill”. It was during that rapid filling that a “big leak” occurred, larger than the one NASA identified during her August 29th launch attempt.
As such, the launchers want to get to the root of the problem and fix it before making the next attempt. As of Saturday, one speculation was that a valve issue may have caused the hydrogen to be over-pressurized, making it less than 60 pounds per square inch instead of his 20 pounds per square inch they had hoped. was that there was Michael Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, said Saturday.
NASA may choose to review these issues again as they work on their next launch attempt.
Further complicating the selection of the next scheduled launch date is the erratic Florida weather. Rocket launches may be further delayed by heavy winds, lightning, or other adverse conditions. In late summer and early fall, hurricanes can hit the Florida coastline where SLS is located.
NASA is working on the possibilities, and the public can expect more answers in the days and weeks to come.
this is rocket science
As NASA officials have said before, we would like to point out that these delays and technical issues do not necessarily indicate a serious problem with the rocket.
After all, this is rocket science.
“I can say that these teams know exactly what they’re doing, and I’m very proud of them,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Saturday. “We tried to emphasize that this is a test and that testing carries a certain amount of risk, but we smacked it with all the public comments we had to get expectations aligned with reality. rice field.”
NASA deputy administrator Free added that his team always attempts launches with optimism that they will happen.
“I’m sure the question is ‘Are we confident?'” he said. “I actually love that question because it’s like, ‘Are you sure you were going to get out of bed this morning?’
This mission, called Artemis I, is expected to pave the way for many other missions to the Moon. The Artemis II mission, scheduled as early as next year, is expected to follow a similar flight path around the Moon, but with a crew on board. And later in this decade, Artemis III is expected to land astronauts on the moon for the first time since NASA’s mid-20th century Apollo program.
CNN’s Ashley Strickland contributed to this article.