Cape Canaveral, Florida – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, in English) The launch of the Artemis I mission has been postponed until further notice Today, Saturday’s scheduled departure was canceled due to a second spill of liquid hydrogen on the platform.
The spacecraft was scheduled to take off for an unobjectionable test flight, which had to go well before the astronauts could board.
However, the countdown to the launch stopped at 11:17 am ET and the launch was suspended. NASA has indicated that it will have a clearer idea of when they might try to launch next week, but that won’t happen before the deadline of next Tuesday, September 6.
The next windows are scheduled for mid-September and late October.
“#Artemis I moon mission postponed. “Technical crews attempted to repair a leak in the connection between the main rocket and the rocket’s liquid hydrogen transfer apparatus, but efforts were unsuccessful,” NASA said in a tweet.
Mike SerafinThe director of Artemis missions explained during a press conference that the leak was caused by an over-pressurized condition in the fuel loading line, which in turn caused a substantial leak of unsolvable liquid hydrogen onto the launch pad.
“Due to excessive pressure in the line, a quick disconnect may have damaged the receptacle seal. It was the connection socket itself that had the leak. “We did see a small leak during the launch attempt on Monday, but it’s not the size we’re trying to address today,” Seraphin said.
“The crew at the launch site tried to stop the leak three times, but couldn’t do it. They tried to increase the pressure in the line, but that didn’t work, the temperature was equilibrating between the line and the vessel,” he stressed.
Accordingly, NASA officials are considering two options: replace the canister or seals on the launch pad, which are vulnerable to bad weather, or transport the rocket back to the Assembly Building. , this may take several days. , to carry out the operation in a controlled environment. Returning to the assembly building will allow the rocket’s batteries and the Orion capsule’s batteries to recharge.
If NASA returns the rocket to the Assembly building, the launch will be postponed until the end of October.
“The SLS is a new vehicle and we are still learning how to set it up and drive it. We’re going to fly when we’re ready,” Seraphin asserted.
NASA has said how long to wait for a launch, they have to reassess the consumables and whether they can stay on the launch pad for long periods of time.
The first attempt, earlier in the week, was marred by hydrogen leaks, but these occurred elsewhere in the 98-meter (322-foot) rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA.
Publishing Director, Charlie Blackwell-Thompsonand your team They tried to plug the leak Saturday as they did last time: by stopping and restarting the flow of supercold liquid hydrogen in hopes of clearing an open space around a seal in the supply line.. They tried twice and shot helium through the line, but the leak persisted.
After three or four hours of futile efforts to load nearly 1 million gallons (3.8 million liters) of fuel, Blackwell-Thompson finally stopped the countdown.
The first countdown, on Monday, was halted by a faulty engine sensor and another fuel leak. The test flight must go well before the astronauts board the ship.
The Space Launch System (SLS) will attempt to send a rocket capsule around the Moon. If successful, it would be the first capsule to fly to the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago.
The $4.1 billion test flight is the first for NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, named after Apollo’s twin sister in Greek mythology.
The spacecraft will orbit the moon carrying astronauts in 2024 and attempt to land in 2025.