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NASA Scrubs Moon Launch After Engine Problem

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Aug 29, 2022 - 12:51 PM

Update (1322ET): NASA indicates the next launch date could be as early as Sept. 2. 

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Update (0851ET): NASA was forced to scrub the Space Launch System launch with an uncrewed Orion capsule after a series of problems materialized around T-Minus 40 minutes.  

Engineers struggled to get one of the booster's RS-25 engines chilled to the correct temperature by running liquid hydrogen, kept at minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit, through it. Engineers tried a series of fixes, but none worked. -WaPo

We noted earlier rescheduled launch dates include Sept. 2 and Sept. 5.

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Update (Monday 0810ET): NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) is set to launch around 0833 ET. The liftoff window can be pushed to 1033 ET if weather or technical glitches occur. 

The first attempt at launching the SLS with an uncrewed Orion capsule into low-Earth orbit on a trajectory to the moon could be delayed, according to NBC News' Tom Costello. He tweeted:

"NASA says 8:33 am launch unlikely. The longer they work to understand issues with 3 engine and crack on inner core tank flange, the less likely a launch is possible ... esp given expected weather." 

"The countdown clock is on a hold at T-40 minutes," NASA tweeted. 

In the event of weather or technical issues, NASA will reschedule the launch for Sept. 2 and Sept. 5.

Here's the official live stream of the launch. 

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NASA's most massive rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), is slated for a Monday morning launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida that will propel an Orion capsule on a month-long journey around the moon. 

SLS is set for the 0833 ET launch from Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, with a two-hour launch window. In the event of weather or technical issues, NASA will reschedule the launch for Sept. 2 and Sept. 5.

SLS sitting on pad. Source: Maxar

"As our zero hour approaches for the Artemis generation, we do have a heightened sense of anticipation, and there is definitely excitement among the team members," Mike Sarafin, NASA's Artemis 1 mission manager, told reporters on Saturday, quoted by Space.com

"We've noticed that the overall mood and focus within the team is definitely positive," Sarafin said. 

"Buckle up, everybody. We are going to the moon," Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said. 

The SLS rocket is a monstrous 322 feet tall. It has 15% more thrust than the Saturn V rockets used in the Apollo program for human exploration of the moon more than half a century ago. 

"This is a very risky mission ... a lot things that could go wrong during the mission in places where we may come home early, or we may have to have to abort to come home," said Jim Free, NASA's associate director for exploration systems development.

The first of the Artemis missions will fly the uncrewed spacecraft around the moon in a 42-day mission. Onboard will be an array of sensors to collect data on what astronauts will experience in future moon trips. 

If all goes well, NASA will conduct Artemis 2 mission sometime in 2024, sending four astronauts on a flyby mission around the moon. Then by 2025, Artemis 3 mission would allow for the first crewed moon landing on the moon

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