CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – All eyes were on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this afternoon, as NASA was planning to launch Artemis I – its first mission to the moon since 1972. What should be the first step today for NASA and America to travel to the Moon and beyond, has been a major disappointment for many space enthusiasts in the U.S. and around the world. Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. According to NASA the launch of Artemis I is postponed due to issues with rocket engine 3, that couldn’t be solved in time. The launch will be scheduled now for next Saturday, September 3, 2022.
“The launch of Artemis I is no longer happening today as teams work through an issue with an engine bleed. Teams will continue to gather data, and we will keep you posted on the timing of the next launch attempt”, NASA said on Twitter.
“Launch is currently in an unplanned hold as the team works on an issue with engine number 3 on the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage,” NASA added.
New Launch Attempt
Artemis 1 is now scheduled for a launch attempt next Saturday, September 3, 2022. The launch window opens at 2:17 PM (EDT) and closes at 4:17 PM (EDT).
The weather forecasts are looking good, although some rain showers could appear in the area. Meteorologists don’t think they will spoil the launch window though.
However, NASA makes no guarantees whether the long-awaited launch of Artemis I will take place on Saturday. The mission team will meet again soon to review new data and determine if all systems are ready. If they run into problems or if the weather is not good enough, Artemis I could still be launched on Monday, September 5.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. It will travel 280,000 miles from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before.
With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars.
The last manned mission to the Moon was Apollo 17, which took place between December 7-19, 1972. It was a 12-day mission which broke many records: the longest lunar landing, the longest space walk, and the largest lunar samples brought back to Earth.
Head photo: NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (© NASA)
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