Miami, Aug 30 – NASA will try again next Saturday from Cape Canaveral, on the east coast of Florida (USA), to launch the unmanned Artemis I mission into space bound for the Moon, then to suspend the takeoff this Monday due to a technical problem, those responsible for the program reported this Tuesday.
“Teams reviewed data from Monday’s launch attempt of the Artemis I mission and are moving forward with a second launch attempt on Saturday, September 3,” NASA announced Tuesday.
The “window” of the new launch opens that day from 2:17 p.m. local time (6:17 p.m. GMT), as announced by those in charge of the space program.
In a teleconference, Mike Sarafin, director of the Artemis I, confirmed that, after carefully studying what happened, it was determined that the main failure had to do with the adequate temperature that the engine must have at takeoff, after loading of liquid hydrogen.
In this way, one of the four RS-25 engines of the powerful SLS rocket designed for this mission could not reach the proper temperature range required for the engine to start at liftoff.
On Monday, technicians unsuccessfully tried a series of correctives until they were finally forced to suspend the launch.
“We agreed on what was called option one, which was to operationally change the charging procedure and start cooling our engine earlier,” Sarafin explained.
According to information from NASA on its Twitter account, the Artemis I assembly, which includes the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft, continues this Tuesday on launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
Monday’s suspension was a setback for a mission that some media estimated at 4,000 million dollars, and that meant the full-fledged debut of the SLS rocket, 98 meters high (more than the statue of liberty in New York) and the most powerful manufactured to date, thanks to its 4 RS-25 engines and 2 attached propellers.
The mission aims to make a round trip to the Moon and seeks to test the capabilities of the SLS rocket and the Orion capsule.
The Artemis I also seeks to calibrate the capabilities of the Orion ship, which can fit up to four crew members, and with water and oxygen reserves that would allow it to travel around 20 days independently.
If the new attempt fails on Saturday, there is another backup opportunity for the Artemis I mission to take off on September 5, the program directors detailed.