NASA ready for the 2nd attempt to launch the Artemis I mission to the Moon
NASA is going to take two.
On Monday, the space agency was unable to launch its rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) with its Orion spacecraft for Artemis I – an uncrewed mission around the moon.
But today they are trying again.
The space agency ran into several problems on Monday. First, there was a delay in loading thrusters into the SLS due to nearby lightning, which lasted approximately 40 minutes. Then, once they were able to start, there was a problem with the rate at which liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen were charging, which meant another short wait.
NASA then encountered another problem with a helium leak. They had encountered this before during their wetsuit rehearsals, which involve a kind of mock launch, going through all the stages of a real attempt without actually taking off.
What ultimately did during Monday’s launch attempt was a problem with one of the rocket’s RS-25 engines. Engine three showed that it hadn’t cooled down properly and – due to all the other stalls – they ran out of time and had to scrub the launch.
Today, NASA will have a second chance to launch the Artemis I mission.
« Right now, we’re on track for a 2:17 p.m. launch. We have a two-hour window, » Jeremy Parsons, deputy director of ground exploration systems at Kennedy Space Center, told media on Friday.
« And right now the team has really done a fantastic job of getting us out of the first launch attempt, fixing all the issues, and getting us into a safe configuration for tomorrow’s launch attempt. »
The weather is the joker
The past week has brought plenty of thunderstorms scattered across the Space Coast.
Meteorological Officer Melody Lovin said there was a 60% chance of favorable weather when the launch window opened. That increases to 80% closer to the end of the window, and she said she was optimistic.
They will reassess the weather criteria for today’s launch three hours before the 2:17 p.m. ET window opens.
If NASA is unable to launch today, the next opportunity is Monday, with a 90-minute window opening at 5:12 p.m.
Favorable weather for this window is 70%, however, Lovin said there is more uncertainty with this forecast.
« I don’t expect the weather to be a barrier for either launch window, » she said.