Big setback for Artemis Moon launch mission | Tech News

Big setback for Artemis Moon launch mission

The dates for the launch of its Artemis I mission have been rescheduled after two previous unsuccessful attempts. Here’s what NASA said.

| Updated on: Sep 15 2022, 18:07 IST
In Pics: NASA set to return to the Moon with the Artemis 1 Mission
NASA Artemis 1 mission
1/5 According to NASA, Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The Orion capsule will carry various objects like Snoopy dog toy which will fly as a zero-gravity indicator in the capsule. A new version of Alexa called Callisto created by Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and Cisco will also be aboard the spacecraft. (REUTERS)
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2/5 The Artemis Programme is NASA’s first attempt to send a manned mission to the Moon since the Apollo missions in 1972. Earlier this month, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said, “To all of us that gaze up at the Moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface, folks, we're here. We are going back.” (REUTERS)
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3/5 The rocket and the Orion spacecraft have already been rolled out onto the launchpad on August 16. Although the rollout was scheduled to happen today on August 18, NASA moved up the plans and rolled out the Orion spacecraft on top of NASA’s brand-new Space Launcher System. (REUTERS)
NASA Artemis 1 mission
4/5 When NASA launches the Artemis 1 mission using the Space Launcher System on August 29, the Orion spacecraft, although unmanned, will carry 3 manikins called Zohar, Helga and Campos to space as human stand-ins for various tests and studies. They will be retrofitted with a vast number of sensors to conduct tests regarding the spaceflight. (NASA)
NASA Artemis 1 mission
5/5 ason Hutt, NASA lead for Orion Crew Systems Integration said, “It’s critical for us to get data from the Artemis I manikin to ensure all of the newly designed systems, coupled with an energy dampening system that the seats are mounted on, integrate together and provide the protection crew members will need in preparation for our first crewed mission on Artemis II.” (NASA)
NASA Artemis 1 mission
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NASA is expected to make another launch attempt for the Artemis I mission with Nasa’s new Space Launch System from the Kennedy Space Center. (AP)

After a couple of technical snags which prevented previous launches, it seems like NASA is finally ready to launch its Artemis I mission to the Moon in the coming weeks. The space agency previously attempted to launch the Orion spacecraft with the help of its new Space Launch System on August 29 and then on September 2 but suffered multiple setbacks on both occasions. NASA has planned another launch window for its first mission to the moon in decades.

NASA recently tweeted, “Our #Artemis I flight test around the Moon will launch no earlier than Sept. 27, with a backup opportunity of Oct. 2 under review.” This means that the space agency has finally fixed the issues which plagued the previous launch attempts. In a recent blog, NASA has revealed that the agency will attempt a demonstration test on September 21 before the planned launch on September 27. NASA has scheduled October 2 as the backup date for the launch.

NASA said in the blog, “The updated dates represent careful consideration of multiple logistical topics, including the additional value of having more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test, and subsequently more time to prepare for the launch. The dates also allow managers to ensure teams have enough rest and to replenish supplies of cryogenic propellants.”

NASA's previous attempts to launch Artemis I mission

NASA's first attempt to launch the Artemis I spacecraft resulted in failure due to a malfunction in the core stage of one of the four RS-25 engines of the Space Launch System (SLS). Additionally, engineers also detected a “leak” in the inner tank of the upper stage. There was a visible build-up of ice and frost and a trail of vapour could be seen which led to NASA scrubbing the launch.

NASA's Artemis 1 launch was scrubbed again on September 2 due to yet another issue. As soon as NASA engineers sent a command to fill the hydrogen tanks, the alert went up and a hydrogen leak in the tanks was spotted. Even after numerous attempts to repair the leak, the team were unsuccessful and the launch was scrubbed again.

NASA will hope that this time the launch takes place without any problems.

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First Published Date: 15 Sep, 18:07 IST