Nasa Aims For Saturday Launch Of New Moon Rocket After Fixes

By | 04/09/2022

NASA’southward new moon rocket sprang some other dangerous fuel leak Saturday, forcing launch controllers to call off their second try this week to send a coiffure capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies. The inaugural flight is now off for at to the lowest degree a few weeks, if not months.

The previous try on Mon at launching the 98-meter (322-foot) Space Launch Organization rocket, the most powerful e’er built by NASA, was likewise troubled by hydrogen leaks, though they were smaller. That was on top of leaks detected during inaugural drills before in the year.

After the latest setback, mission managers decided to haul the rocket off the pad and into the hangar for further repairs and system updates. Some of the work and testing may be performed at the pad earlier the rocket is moved.

FILE - NASA Administrator Bill Nelson speaks during a news conference at NASA headquarters in Washington, June 2, 2021.

FILE – NASA Ambassador Bill Nelson speaks during a news conference at NASA headquarters in Washington, June 2, 2021.

With a two-week launch blackout flow looming in a few days, the rocket is now grounded until afterward this month or even October. NASA volition work around a high-priority SpaceX astronaut flight to the International Space Station scheduled for early on October.

NASA Administrator Nib Nelson stressed that safety is the summit priority, especially on a examination flight like this where anybody wants to verify the rocket’s systems “before we put iv humans up on the meridian of it.”

“Just remember: Nosotros’re not going to launch until it’s right,” he said.

NASA's new moon rocket sits on Launch Pad 39-B hours ahead of a planned launch at the Kennedy Space Center, Sept. 3, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

NASA’s new moon rocket sits on Launch Pad 39-B hours ahead of a planned launch at the Kennedy Space Center, Sept. three, 2022, in Greatcoat Canaveral, Fla.

Leak detected chop-chop

NASA has been waiting years to send the crew capsule around the moon. If the six-week demo succeeds, astronauts could wing around the moon in 2024 and state on it in 2025. People terminal walked on the moon l years ago.

Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and her squad had barely started loading about 1 million gallons of fuel into the Space Launch System rocket at daybreak when the large leak cropped up in the engine section at the bottom.

Ground controllers tried to plug it the fashion they handled previous leaks: stopping and restarting the menstruum of super-cold liquid hydrogen in hopes of closing the gap around a seal in the supply line. They tried that twice and also flushed helium through the line. But the leak persisted.

Blackwell-Thompson finally halted the countdown after three to four hours of futile efforts.

Mission manager Mike Sarafin told journalists information technology was too early to tell what caused the leak, but information technology may have been because of inadvertent over-pressurization of the hydrogen line earlier in the morning when commands were sent to the incorrect valve.

“This was not a manageable leak,” Sarafin said.

The NASA moon rocket stands on Pad 39B before the Artemis 1 mission to orbit the moon at the Kennedy Space Center, Sept. 1, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The NASA moon rocket stands on Pad 39B before the Artemis one mission to orbit the moon at the Kennedy Space Center, Sept. one, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Dissimilar leak Monday

During Monday’due south try, a series of smaller, unrelated hydrogen leaks popped up in the rocket. Technicians tightened up the fittings over the following days, just Blackwell-Thompson had cautioned that she wouldn’t know whether everything was tight until Saturday’s fueling.

Hydrogen molecules are exceedingly modest — the smallest in existence — and even the tiniest gap or crevice can provide a manner out. NASA’s space shuttles, now retired, were plagued by hydrogen leaks. The new moon rocket uses the same blazon of main engines.

Even more of a problem Monday, a sensor indicated one of the rocket’s four engines was too warm, only engineers afterward verified information technology was common cold enough. The launch team planned to ignore the faulty sensor this fourth dimension around and rely on other instruments to ensure each principal engine was properly chilled. Simply the countdown never got that far.

Mission managers accepted the additional hazard posed by the engine outcome also as a split problem: cracks in the rocket’s insulating foam. Simply they acknowledged other trouble — like fuel leaks — could prompt even so another delay.

Thousands testify up to lookout man

That didn’t stop thousands from jamming the coast to see the Space Launch Arrangement rocket soar. Local government expected massive crowds because of the long Labor Twenty-four hour period holiday weekend.

The $4.1 billion test flight is the first step in NASA’s Artemis program of renewed lunar exploration, named after the twin sis of Apollo in Greek mythology.

Twelve astronauts walked on the moon during NASA’s Apollo program, the last time in 1972.

Artemis — years behind schedule and billions over budget — aims to establish a sustained human presence on the moon, with crews eventually spending weeks at a fourth dimension there. Information technology’southward considered a training basis for Mars.

Source: https://www.voanews.com/a/nasa-aims-for-saturday-launch-of-new-moon-rocket-after-fixes/6728876.html#:~:text=NASA%20aimed%20for%20a%20Saturday,late%20in%20the%20countdown%20Monday.