June 17, 2024


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NASA is trying to launch the Artemis 1 mission again on Saturday | NASA

NASA will make a second attempt to launch it space The agency said the Lunar Launch System rocket landed on Saturday, five days after an initial attempt was thwarted due to technical issues.

The US space agency made the decision on Monday Delaying her first attempt To launch a rocket capable of putting astronauts on the Moon in 50 years due to engine problems.

Engineers at the launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, they discovered problems with one of the Artemis 1 rocket’s engines and were unable to fix it in time for the scheduled launch window. Bad weather also had a role, Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis mission manager, said Monday.

Managers said Tuesday that they are changing refueling procedures to deal with the issue. They suggested that a bad sensor may have been to blame for the launch, which was called off on Monday.

Moving forward on Saturday’s launch will provide additional insights, even if the problem resurfaces and the countdown stops again, said NASA’s rocket program manager, John Honeycutt. This is better than “we just sit around scratching our heads, was it good enough or not”.

“Based on what I heard from the technical team today, what we need to do is keep looking at the data and fine-tune our plan to put the rationale for the journey together,” he said.

The 98-meter rocket, the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, remains on its platform at the Kennedy Space Center with an empty crew capsule above it.

The Space Launch System rocket will attempt to send the capsule around the moon and back. No one will be on board, just three demo dolls. If successful, it would be the first capsule to fly to the Moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago.

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During Monday’s launch attempt, readings showed that one of the four main engines in the rocket’s primary stage could not be cooled enough before the planned ignition on takeoff. It appears to be 40 F (22 C) warmer than -420 F (-250 C), the temperature of hydrogen fuel, according to Honeycutt. The other three engines came on for a little while.

All engines appear to be fine, according to Honeycutt.

Cooling will take place half an hour before the launch attempt on Saturday afternoon, once refueling begins that morning. Honeycutt said that this engine cooling timing was earlier during last year’s successful testing, so making it early might do the trick.

Honeycutt also questioned the integrity of a single motor sensor, saying it may have provided inaccurate data on Monday. Changing that sensor, he noted, would mean returning the missile to the hangar, resulting in weeks of delays.

Already years behind schedule, the $4.1 billion test flight was the opening shot in NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology. Astronauts could join in as soon as 2024 to orbit the moon and try to land on the moon already in 2025.

Crowds flocked to Florida on Monday to watch its launch but were disappointed. The mission sparked excitement as humanity attempted to return to the moon for the first time since the 1970s.

These efforts are expected to cost US taxpayers $93 billionBut NASA officials said Americans would find the cost justified.

“This is the Artemis generation now,” NASA Administrator and former astronaut Bill Nelson said recently. “We were in the Apollo generation. This is a new generation. This is a new type of astronaut.”

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