NASA said Wednesday that it has successfully tested the refueling of its new rocket, after technical problems a few weeks ago halted two attempts to eject the giant from Earth and head toward the moon.
“All of the goals we set to achieve we were able to achieve today,” said Charlie Blackwell Thompson, launch director for the program called Artemis 1:
The unmanned mission hopes to test the new 30-story SLS rocket as well as the unmanned Orion capsule sitting atop it, in preparation for future lunar flights with humans on board.
The last attempt in early September to launch NASA’s most powerful rocket to date had to be aborted due to a leak during coolant fuel.liquid hydrogen And oxygen – is pumped into the tanks of the rocket.
Repairs have been made and Wednesday’s test included filling those tanks again.
Although a small hydrogen leak was discovered during testing, NASA engineers managed to get it under control.
NASA said last week that it is now targeting September 27 as the next launch date. October 2 is set as a backup date.
“Teams will evaluate data from the test, along with weather and other factors, before confirming readiness to move forward with the next launch opportunity,” NASA said.
Asked about the timing of the next launch attempt, Blackwell-Thompson declined to comment, although she said she had “felt very encouraged by a test today.”
US officials are also closely watching the path of Hurricane Fiona off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
For the September 27 date to be possible, NASA would have to obtain a waiver to avoid retesting the batteries on a detonation system used to destroy the missile if it veered uncontrollably.
The next mission, Artemis 2, will take astronauts to the Moon without landing on its surface, while the third mission – set for mid-2020 – will see the first woman and person of color on the Moon. Moon soil.
NASA wants to build a lunar space station called Gateway and maintain a continuous presence on the moon to gain insight into how to survive very long space missions, ahead of a mission to Mars in the 2030s.
© 2022 AFP
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