NASA Scrubs Artemis I Rocket Launch For Second Time After Leak

NASA’s Artemis I un-crewed flight test mission around the Moon has been scrubbed for the second time.

Due to lift-off at 2:17 p.m. EST on September 3, 2022 from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) suffered from a leak in a liquid hydrogen valve.

“During tanking of the Artemis I mission, a leak developed in the supply side of the 8-inch quick disconnect while attempting to transfer fuel to the rocket,” said a tweet from NASA. “Attempts to fix it so far have been unsuccessful.”

Shortly after 4.p.m. EST the launch was officially called-off.

The first attempt was scrubbed on August 29 due to a sensor suggesting that one of the vehicle’s four RS-25 engines was the wrong temperature.

NASA is expected to soon announce the next possible launch date as Tuesday, September 6, though it’s possible that the SLS will need to return to NASA’s vast Vehicle Assembly Building. That would mean a much longer delay.

Either way, the position of the Moon means that no launch will be possible after September 6 until September 19 at the earliest.

The SLS is a largest rocket constructed since the agency’s Saturn V “Moon rocket” was last used in 1973. Standing 322 ft. high, the SLS is also a “Moon rocket” with 8.8 million pounds (3.9 million kg) of thrust.

When Artemis I does finally lift-off it will embark on a 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) journey. Orion will enter an elliptical orbit of the Moon that will see them get to within 62 miles above its surface and about 40,000 miles beyond it. That’s farther than any spacecraft built for astronauts has ever flown.

At the end of the mission the Orion spacecraft is due to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego about 42 days after launch.

Artemis I is the first of three missions on the schedule, with Artemis II in 2024 slated to take four crew and Artemis III due to take two astronauts— the first woman and the first person of color—to the lunar surface in 2025 or later.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

You may also like...