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NASA desperate to launch Doomed Artemis 1 mission to the moon SEPT 27

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) has settled on launching Artemis 1 on September 27, after the beleaguered moon mission was delayed by technical problems twice before.

Engine issues and a hydrogen fuel leak just hours before its launch were the main culprits for the delays on August 29 and September 3, respectively.

NASA is determined to launch the seemingly doomed mission late September, but also flagged a launch window in early October.

The date would depend on engineering teams successfully carrying out a test to fuel up the Space Launch System rocket, and receive a waiver to avoid retesting batteries on an emergency flight system that is used to destroy the rocket if it strays from its designated range.

If it does not receive the waiver, the rocket will have to be wheeled back to its assembly building, pushing the timeline back several weeks.

For the September 27 date, a ’70-minute launch window opens at 11:37 am EDT,’ while the mission would end with an ocean splashdown of the Orion capsule on November 5.

A potential next date comes on October 2.

Engine issues and a hydrogen fuel leak just hours before the launch of Artemis 1 were the main culprits for the delays on August 29 and September 3, respectively

NASA is determined to launch the 30-story rocket - which is supposed to put American boots on the lunar surface in 2025 - by late September but also flagged a date in early October

NASA is determined to launch the 30-story rocket – which is supposed to put American boots on the lunar surface in 2025 – by late September but also flagged a date in early October

After several delays and substantial technical difficulties NASA say they will not launch until they are sure they are 'ready'

After several delays and substantial technical difficulties NASA say they will not launch until they are sure they are ‘ready’

NASA has settled on launching the seemingly doomed Artemis 1 on September 27, after the beleaguered moon mission was delayed by technical problems on two different occasions

NASA has settled on launching the seemingly doomed Artemis 1 on September 27, after the beleaguered moon mission was delayed by technical problems on two different occasions

A TIMELINE OF NASA’S DOOMED ARTEMIS 1 MISSION TO THE MOON 

AUGUST 29: Fueling was scheduled to commence just after midnight, but was delayed an hour due to offshore storms.

It began at 1:13 am.

Prior to the planned launch at 8:33 am, Engine 3 of the rocket’s four engines was seen to be above the maximum allowable temperature limit for launch.

Other technical difficulties involved an eleven-minute communications delay between the spacecraft and ground control, a fuel leak, and a crack on the insulating foam of the connection joints between the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks.

NASA scrubbed the launch after when the two-hour launch window expired.

An investigation revealed that a faulty sensor incorrectly displayed a high temperature on Engine 3.

SEPTEMBER 03: Following the first attempt, a second launch attempt was scheduled for the afternoon of September 3.

The launch window would have opened at 2:17 pm and lasted for two hours.

The launch was postponed at 11:17 am due to a fuel supply line leak in a service arm connecting to the engine section.

The cause of the leak remains unclear.

Mission operators are investigating whether an overpressurization of the liquid hydrogen line of the quick-disconnect interface during the launch attempt may have damaged a seal, allowing hydrogen to escape.

SEPTEMBER 08: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) reveals two launch dates in late September.

September 23 and September 27 were possible dates flagged for a third attempt at launching the Artemis 1 mission to the Moon.

SEPTEMBER 12: NASA target September 27 as possible launch window.

The date would depend on engineering teams successfully carrying out a test to fuel up the Space Launch System rocket, and receive a waiver to avoid retesting batteries on an emergency flight system that is used to destroy the rocket if it strays from its designated range.

If it does not receive the waiver, the rocket will have to be wheeled back to its assembly building, pushing the timeline back several weeks.

OCTOBER 2: This date has been chosen as a possible alternative to the September 27 launch date.

 

 

NASA stood down its latest launch attempt because engineers couldn’t overcome a hydrogen fuel leak seven hours before lift-off.

NASA engineers repeatedly tried to stop the fuel leak during the Artemis 1 countdown.

First, they tried to warm the tank connector and chill it with cold fuel to reset the hydrogen quick disconnect connector.

Next, engineers tried to repressurize it with helium, and then returned to the warm-and-chill method to stop the leak. All three attempts failed.

In the first attempt to launch engineers were unable to cool off one of the rocket’s engines to a safe temperature in time for take-off.

NASA’s Associate Administrator for exploration systems development Jim Free told reporters last week that the vessel was not yet ‘safe in orbit’ and rather safer ‘on the ground’ at this time. 

‘We don’t go into these tests lightly we don’t say we think, we hope, this is going to work,’ he said. 

‘We’re not going to launch until we are ready.’ 

For the September 27 date, a '70-minute launch window opens at 11:37 am EDT,' while the mission would end with an ocean splashdown of the Orion capsule on November 5

For the September 27 date, a ’70-minute launch window opens at 11:37 am EDT,’ while the mission would end with an ocean splashdown of the Orion capsule on November 5 

NASA's Associate Administrator for exploration systems development Jim Free (pictured) told reporters last week that the vessel was not yet 'safe in orbit'

NASA’s Associate Administrator for exploration systems development Jim Free (pictured) told reporters last week that the vessel was not yet ‘safe in orbit’

Once launched, it will take several days for the spacecraft to reach the Moon, flying around 60 miles at its closest approach

Once launched, it will take several days for the spacecraft to reach the Moon, flying around 60 miles at its closest approach

After this, Artemis 2, will take astronauts to the Moon without landing on its surface, while the third, set for the mid-2020s, would see the first woman and person of color on lunar soil

After this, Artemis 2, will take astronauts to the Moon without landing on its surface, while the third, set for the mid-2020s, would see the first woman and person of color on lunar soil

The launch of the Artemis I mission marks the first step in NASA’s plan to return humans to the moon by 2025.

The Artemis 1 space mission hopes to test the SLS as well as the unmanned Orion capsule that sits atop it, in preparation for future Moon-bound journeys with humans aboard.

Once launched, it will take several days for the spacecraft to reach the Moon, flying around 60 miles at its closest approach.

One of the trip’s main objectives is to test the capsule’s heat shield, which at 16 feet in diameter is the largest ever built, when the ship re-enters the atmosphere.

The next mission, Artemis 2, will take astronauts to the Moon without landing on its surface, while the third, set for the mid-2020s, would see the first woman and person of color on lunar soil.

NASA wants to build a lunar space station called Gateway and keep a sustained presence on the Moon to gain insight into how to survive very long space missions, ahead of a mission to Mars in the 2030s.

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE NASA GETS ARTEMIS OFF THE GROUND?

AFTER LIFT OFF:

According to NASA, Two minutes and 12 seconds after launch, Artemis 1’s two strap-on solid rocket boosters will separate and fall toward the Atlantic Ocean.

About a minute later, Orion will jettison its emergency launch-abort system and the protective fairing (a nose cone used to protect a spacecraft payload) that covers its service module.

The Space Launch System (SLS) core engines will shut down eight minutes and four seconds after lift-off, and the huge rocket’s two stages will separate 12 seconds later.

Another 10 minutes after that, Orion will start deploying its solar arrays, a process that will take about 12 minutes.

Orion and the SLS upper stage will be orbiting Earth at this point.

Fifty-one minutes after lift-off, the upper stage will conduct a 22-second engine burn to get itself and Orion a bit farther from planet Earth.

Then, the upper stage will perform an 18-minute burn to send Orion toward the moon.

Orion is expected to separate from the SLS upper stage, two hours and six minutes after lift-off, embarking on its solo journey to the moon.

The discarded upper stage will then deploy 10 tiny cubesats (miniaturized satellite).

Those cubesats will perform a variety of work in deep space, from studying how radiation affects yeast DNA to hunting for water ice on the moon.

If all goes to plan those cubesats will start deploying from the adapter three hours and 40 minutes after launch, the last of them flying freely about 8 hours after take-off.

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