After being forced to cancel today’s scheduled launch due to an engine problem, NASA is planning a second try to launch its next-generation rocket on Friday, September 2.
At about 8:34 AM ET on Monday, NASA aborted the Artemis I launch attempt due to one of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s four engines failing to achieve the proper temperature. The NASA Artemis mission, which seeks to return people to the Moon by 2025, includes SLS as a crucial element.
The next try is planned for Friday, September 2nd, about 12:48 PM ET. The manager of the Artemis mission, Michael Sarafin, said that Friday is “certainly in play,” but added that before reaching any conclusions about the possibility of a successful launch, the agency’s staff needed time to go through the data.
In a press conference, Sarafin remarked, “There’s a non-zero probability we’ll have a launch opportunity on Friday.” “This game will go the full nine innings. We haven’t given up yet, so
More information on the engine problem that caused today’s launch to be scrubbed was revealed by NASA authorities. The decision to postpone was made because the launch crew had problems bringing one of the four RS-25 engines to the right temperature for liftoff. For a launch to be possible, temperatures for the engines must register at 500 Rankine, according to Sarafin.
They began the engine bleed after we finished filling the rocket with fuel, both on the core stage and the upper stage, according to Sarafin. “We discussed the engine bleed during our flight preparation assessment. Going into this launch campaign, we were aware of the danger, and this would be the first time effectively proving it.
According to Sarafin, the engine has to be “cryogenically cool” so that it won’t be stunned when it begins by the ice-cold gasoline that runs through it. Therefore, it took us a bit longer to evaluate that.
Officials issued a warning, however, saying that today’s delay should not be interpreted as an engine problem but rather as a problem with the bleed system. In a previous “wet dress rehearsal” of the rocket launch earlier this year, the launch “never completely went into the engine bleed,” Sarafin said, adding that authorities were aware it may be a concern for today’s flight.
The previous 48 hours, according to Sarafin, have been “extremely active,” with a hydrogen leak that was rapidly fixed and three lightning strikes on the towers supporting the SLS rocket. However, when questioned about whether the rocket would need to be “pushed back” from its location on the launch pad, authorities declined to comment.
We need the crew to rest up so they can return tomorrow since it is getting ahead of our data reviews, Sarafin added. We’ll do our best to follow the data’s lead and see if we can address the problem operationally on the pad.
As it evaluates all the data that led to today’s postponement, NASA will need to pay close attention over the coming days. Time will also be against the agency as the following two launch windows approach.
The next try is planned for Friday, September 2nd, about 12:48 PM ET. The mission will last 39 days if the launch goes as planned, with the Orion crew capsule splashing down in the ocean on October 11th. A third launch window will open on Monday, September 5th, if it doesn’t launch by that time.
But those times might alter if NASA decides the rocket has to be transported from the launchpad to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center. Teams must thoroughly test the flight termination system, which is used to destroy the rocket in the event that anything disastrous occurs during launch, before to each launch, and this work can only be done within the VAB. If SLS is need to return to the VAB after rolling out in August because that testing is time-consuming, it probably won’t be ready to fly until late October.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Jim Free, assistant administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development, offered the following advise to individuals wishing to see a rocket launch today: “You could witness a launch if you book a weeklong vacation in Florida.”