NASA could make its fourth launch of the moon’s largest rock Artemis 1 before next Friday (April 21), agency officials said.
Artemisa 1 to use NASA’s new tool Funeral system (SLS) megarocket to send an Orion capsule on a non -flying voyage around the moon. The company expects to begin the mission this summer and is conducting critical tests on Pad 39B at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to help prepare the team and equipment.
This trial, dubbed the “wet dress rehearsal,” begins on April 1 and is expected to end two days later with an increase in SLS and some starting points. But there are many trouble and delay blue dress, and Artemis 1 has completed preparations to host the launch of SpaceX on April 8 Ax-1 astronaut mission from KSC’s Pad 39A.
Live updates: NASA’s moon mission Artemis 1
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The company planned to start the trial again on April 11 but a faulty error was found in the phone release tower supporting the Artemis 1 box. This problem returned things a day later and the hi change the testing process; They decided to finish the SLS base only, not at its top level.
The renovation began on April 14, but members of the group stopped the process after noticing the hydrogen leak. (Hydrogen water is one of the two adsorbents used by SLS, along with water oxygen.)
So the Artemis 1 team canceled that attempt, the third overall attempt to fill the SLS boxes. (Both came on April 3 and April 4.) But the team hopes to get back on the horse.
“We’re holding the option to re -apply the blue dress before next week,” Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission chief at NASA headquarters in Washington, said during a phone call with announcers on Friday (April 15). “Friday the 21st will be the first time the team is happy to work.”
The project will be difficult next week, as Sarafin and other NASA officials have agreed; SpaceX is getting ready embarked on the Crew-4 astronaut journey for NASA at 5:26 am EDT (0926 GMT) on April 23 from Pad 39A at KSC.
NASA and SpaceX want a 24-hour barrier between Artemis 1’s blue armor and Crew-4’s liftoff, officials said during a news conference on Friday. Therefore, if the capture of the SLS main base cannot be completed in the early hours of April 22, the Artemis 1 team will have to wait until Crew-4 leaves the ground.
This has not been decided, NASA officials said; The members of Artemis 1 are looking for information from the testing process that has taken place to date and planning their next steps. But Artemis 1’s SLS and Orion are in good shape, they’re serious. And they are not afraid of the problems that arise.
The SLS hasn’t flown before, so it’s not surprising to encounter some problems during the test run. For example, it took five or six tanking attempts to get to plane ready for its first flight in 1981, said Artemis director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, of NASA’s Ground Systems Exploration program at KSC.
“I would say we are in the family of our past for the first time [operations]“Blackwell-Thompson said during the Artemis 1 news conference on Friday.
Mike Wall is the author of “Outside“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; edited by Karl Tate), a book about exploring alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or at Facebook.