Artemis-1: second postponement for the launch of the Space Launch System

Rebellious! This Saturday, September 3, during the very last preparations for the launcher SLSthe engineers of the NASA were once again faced with yet another problem. One hour after the start of the filling of the tanks, the latter indeed detected a large leak of cryogenic fuel. Scalded cat is said to fear cold water, so NASA has dispensed with setting a new launch date this time. Bill Nelsonthe current director of the American space agency, went up in arms to try to contextualize this new disappointment: “ It’s a whole new vehicle, a new technology, a whole new goal – to return to the Moon to prepare for a trip to Mars – and yes, it is difficult”.

NASA SLS Launchpad 1

After two postponements – first launch cancellation on August 28, then a postponement to September 2… then to September 3 – the risk for NASA is indeed to tire the public and the media. We will therefore have to “shield” the next preparations. On this subject, it is now very likely that the SLS will return to the hangar, in particular to check the rocket’s self-destruction system in the event of a non-compliant trajectory (confidence reigns). At best, the SLS could only return to its launch pad at the very end of September…

As a reminder, the Artemis-1 mission aims to “validate” the new elliptical trajectory around the Moon (with a view to future manned missions), and to assess the level of protection of the Orion capsule. The latter will indeed be subjected to extreme temperatures on takeoff and then to cosmic radiation.

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