NASA canceled a critical test of powering its Artemis 1 lunar rocket Sunday due to safety concerns of ground equipment on the crane’s portable launch platform.
Technicians plan to supply fuel Artemis 1 megarocket, called space launch system (SLS), with 700,000 gallons of super-cold propellant on Sunday (April 3) at Pad 39B of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Refueling test was the final stage of Three days “wet rehearsal” Designed to test the countdown to the launch of NASA’s Artemis 1 mission to the Moon later this year.
But NASA officials said a problem with the Artemis 1 rocket’s portable launch platform, a platform that houses its giant turret and other vital equipment, thwarted the test. The system that uses fans to pressurize the mobile launcher and block harmful gases appears to have failed.
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“The ventilators are needed to provide positive pressure on the enclosed areas within the mobile launcher and keep out dangerous gases,” according to NASA. wrote in the updateSunday. “Technicians cannot safely proceed with propellant loading into the rocket’s core stage and temporary cryogenic propulsion stage without this capability.”
at. Saturday, Four lightning strikes detected at Pad 39B, but none of them hit the SLS rocket, NASA said. It was transformed by the pillow’s lightning protection system, which consisted of three tall turrets and a network of sequence lines that redirected electrical current to the ground away from the missile.
With an attempt to forget Sunday, NASA’s next opportunity to test refueling operations could happen as early as Monday (April 4), but NASA will have to weigh the availability of fuel — the SLS rocket uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellant — as well as the launch. . time scale.
NASA’s Artemis 1 SLS rocket stands atop Pad 39B adjacent to Launch Pad 39A, where a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch four private astronauts into International Space Station Wednesday (April 6) Wednesday Ax mission 1 For Axiom Space. The launch of the Ax-1 mission from the designated target on April 3 has been postponed to make way for NASA’s Artemis 1 fuel test.
Agency officials said the Ax-1 mission should begin by April 7 or so to avoid further delays in the launch of NASA’s next SpaceX astronaut, A mission called Crew-4 Currently scheduled for April 20, which will transport four more astronauts to NASA’s International Space Station.
“Teams will discuss scope and availability of goods as part of the future plan,” NASA officials with the Artemis 1 refueling test said in the update. A press conference is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET (2130 GMT) to discuss the agency’s plan.
Artemis 1 is NASA’s first mission to the moon Artemis programwhich aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2025 or so. The mission will use NASA’s first Space Launch System rocket to launch an unmanned rocket Orion spacecraft around the moon and back to earth.
If all goes well with the flight, NASA aims to launch a manned Orion spacecraft around the moon in 2023 followed by a manned Artemis 3 landing mission later.
The Artemis 1 “wet” rehearsal is a critical step in verifying that the SLS missile is ready for launch. The booster is NASA’s most powerful rocket ever and the agency’s first lunar rocket since the Saturn 5 launch of Apollo astronauts in the 1960s and 1970s.
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