NASA looks to launch Artemis lunar test flight again on November 14, 2022

NASA has targeted Nov. 14 for a third attempt to launch its big, next-generation rocketship, the U.S. space agency said.

| Updated on: Oct 13 2022, 20:13 IST
In Pics: NASA set to return to the Moon with the 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 manikin
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)
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)
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November 14 is the new targeted date for the NASA Artemis lunar test flight (AP)

NASA has targeted Nov. 14 for a third attempt to launch its big, next-generation rocketship, the U.S. space agency said on Wednesday, after weeks of technical setbacks and foul weather delayed the uncrewed inaugural Artemis mission to the moon.

Plans call for rolling the 32-story-tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion capsule back out to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as early as Friday, Nov. 4 to renew final flight preparations.

Safety regulations and deteriorating weather conditions spawned by Hurricane Ian had forced the space agency to return the towering rocketship to its hangar last month following two aborted launch attempts, on Aug. 29 and Sept. 3.

Standard maintenance still to be done at the pad includes repairing minor damage to insulation materials, and recharging or replacing batteries on the rocket, and on its satellite payloads and flight-termination system, NASA said in a statement announcing the new launch date.

NASA officials have previously said that a hydrogen fuel leak that forced them to scrub the last countdown three hours before liftoff has since been resolved.

The newly targeted 69-minute launch window for the Artemis I mission on Nov. 14 opens at 12:07 a.m. EST (0407 GMT), with backup launch opportunities of two hours each set for Nov. 16 and Nov. 19, NASA said.

The latest string of difficulties in recent months come at the tail end of a rocket development program more than a decade in the making, with years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns under NASA's SLS and Orion contracts with Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp, respectively.

Apart from its technical challenges, Artemis I signals a major turning point for NASA's post-Apollo human spaceflight program, after decades focusing on low-orbit missions with space shuttles and the International Space Station.

Artemis I, aimed at launching the Orion capsule on an uncrewed test flight to the moon and back, would mark the debut voyage of both the SLS rocket and Orion a half century after the final lunar mission of Apollo, forerunner of the Artemis program.

Named for the goddess who was Apollo's twin sister in ancient Greek mythology, Artemis seeks to return astronauts to the moon's surface as early as 2025, though many experts believe that time frame will likely slip.

NASA ultimately plans to establish a long-term lunar base of operations as a stepping stone to even more ambitious human voyages to Mars.

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First Published Date: 13 Oct, 20:13 IST