NASA says testing is good enough to try to launch Artemis next week

What's next for Artemis I after the second peel?

An unmanned Artemis I lunar rocket sits on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on August 25, 2022. Credit: NASA

NASA announced Thursday that this week’s cryogenic fuel test at the Kennedy Space Center was good enough to continue moving toward a launch attempt early Tuesday.

A statement on NASA’s website reads: “Based on data from testing, teams are working to fine-tune procedures for the next launch opportunity, targeted no later than September 27.” “The missile is still in a safe configuration and is ready to fly in launcher. “

The nearly 10-hour test at Launch Pad 39-B on Wednesday saw several issues with liquid hydrogen leakage, some similar to what caused the rub in the last attempt to launch on September 3.

But the mission managers were able to troubleshoot and move forward with all test objectives, preparing the missile for what would be its third attempt to launch on Earth.

NASA will host a discussion about the next launch opportunity that will be broadcast on its website at at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday.

One uncertain factor is whether the US Space Force will give NASA approval to attempt the launch even though the batteries in its flight termination system have not been checked since before Aug. A foot tall of a Space Launch System rocket, mobile launcher, and Orion spacecraft in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center.

The Space Force controls the eastern range at which the missile will be launched, and was only allowed an earlier period of 25 days between times RocketThe self-destruct mechanism of ‘unchecked’ can go on.

But if the waiver is allowed, NASA can follow up on two previously announced potential dates. The Tuesday window is a 70-minute window that opens at 11:37 a.m. and flies on a nearly 40-day mission and lands on Earth on November 5. The second is Sunday, October 2, a 109-minute window that opens at 2:52 p.m. and flies on a nearly 41-day mission and lands on November 11.

Artemis I is the first of a series of missions NASA plans to return humans to the Moon and eventually to Mars. This first unmanned flight appears to prove that the Orion spacecraft can support humans as it will travel far beyond the Moon and back to Earth faster than any other human-classified spacecraft.

If successful, it will be followed by an Artemis II manned mission to orbit the moon in 2024 followed by Artemis III early in 2025, which aims to return humans including the first woman to the moon. The surface of the moon For the first time since 1972.

Working side by side: NASA networks enable Artemis I

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