NASA has set a new date for the launch of Artemis I. Actually two dates, because we now know that launching this huge colossus is not without a struggle. After a number of semi-failed dress rehearsals and already two launches that could not go through, NASA is now trying again on September 23 or 27.
So it will be either a Friday or a Tuesday. Forget fun MONDAY puns: it’s going to be Tuesday or Friday, if the weather gods want it too. NASA also has yet to get to work with the fuel from the space launch system, which threw a spanner in the works last time. On the other hand, it wants to err on the side of caution: liquid hydrogen is extremely flammable and it would be a shame to see this multi-billion dollar project go up in smoke. As in: without successful launch.
The rocket will remain on the launch pad for the time being: it will probably not be rolled all the way back to the workshop. That is also quite an undertaking. Even if it is only a few kilometers, it will take many hours. However, it may happen that he has to return to the hangar, namely if NASA does not receive special permission to leave the rocket.
It can get that permission when it gets a waiver for the battery of the system that will blow up the missile if it goes off course. This system must be checked very regularly and that would mean that the colossus would have to move again. If that is not necessary for a while, it can remain standing and that would save a lot of manpower and therefore also money. Plus, worse: then the launch would take even longer.
To make sure that the fuel problems have been solved, NASA will do a new kind of wet dress rehearsal on September 17: it will then try to fill the rocket with fuel and then empty it again. That also takes a lot of time: 2649,78825 liters of cryogenic fuel go into the device and that refueling takes about 7 hours.
The whole world has its eyes on NASA. The Artemis mission marks the first time we will put humans on the moon again since 1972. The first launch and second launch (Artemis I and Artemis II) are still unmanned, but the Artemis III mission has to do it: then go several people have gone to the moon, including women and black people, who set foot on the crater for the first time in history.
Mars may be about 9 months away, but the moon isn’t as close as you might think. It takes a month and a half from launch until Artemis I reaches the moon. It doesn’t land there: it just flies around it a few laps and then returns to Earth. The idea is that the Orion spacecraft will be reused, so it is good to test whether it reaches Earth again.
NASA made another important decision about the mission this week. For example, it has decided that it is up to Axiom Space to make the suits for the astronauts who will soon walk on the moon. The contract is worth $228.5 million and the company aims to develop a modern spacesuit that can withstand all the harsh temperatures and conditions of the moon. NASA is thus once again using a private company, something it has done before, because it has also regularly had astronauts transported by SpaceX. However, the further training of astronauts will remain in the hands of NASA, the company indicates.
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