NASA’s Massive Moon Rocket ‘Go’ For Launch

After three delays, NASA confirmed a new launch window for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, for Wednesday morning. 

The Artemis 1 rocket launch was scrubbed in late August (read: here) and early September (read: here) due to a liquid hydrogen leak at an interface between the SLS and mobile launcher at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

NASA appears comfortable with the next launch attempt, with a two-hour window beginning at 0104 ET Wednesday. 

If the launch goes to plan, it will be the first flight of the SLS and send the unmanned Orion Spacecraft around the moon. 

“I feel good headed into this attempt on the 16th,” Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager at NASA headquarters in Washington, said during a press briefing on Sunday. 

“The team is moving forward as one unit,” Sarafin added. “We’ve just got some work to do.”

Besides prior leak mishaps, NASA outlined Hurricane Ian also delayed timelines. 

“Engineers previously rolled the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) Sept. 26 ahead of Hurricane Ian and after waving off two previous launch attempts Aug. 29 due to a faulty temperature sensor, and Sept. 4 due to a liquid hydrogen leak at an interface between the rocket and mobile launcher. Prior to rolling back to the VAB, teams successfully repaired the leak and demonstrated updated tanking procedures. While in the VAB, teams performed standard maintenance to repair minor damage to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system and recharge or replace batteries throughout the system.”

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

Watch Launch Live Here:

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