NASA’s Orion Service Module for the Artemis 2 mission stands at the Operations and Checkout Building during a media tour in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, August 28, 2022. REUTERS/Steve Nesius
NASA delayed the debut launch of its new giant rocket due to a problem with one of its main engines, putting a temporary blow to the space agency’s plans to return to the moon.
The unmanned Artemis I mission was canceled at 8:34 a.m. local time at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to assess temperature issues, NASA said in a statement Monday. The rocket and space capsule are in a “safe and stable configuration” and NASA engineers continue to collect data.
The earliest it can try again is Sept. 2, NASA said in a webcast, announcing the scrubbed launch. No decision has been made regarding rescheduling.
Official confirmation of the delay came after the space agency spent early morning hours investigating issues such as potential cracks in the materials of the rocket body and a temperature issue with one of the main engines. after investigating and resolving a suspected leak affecting the hydrogen tank process.
The Artemis mission will be the first major flight in NASA’s ambitious plan to send the first woman and the first man of color to the moon as early as 2025., and Orion, developed by Lockheed Martin. A new deep space crew capsule called
Once Artemis I is launched, SLS will send Orion on a 42-day mission, carrying numerous payloads and sensors to track its journey. The capsule will enter lunar orbit, plunge into deep space, and return to Earth in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego.
The space launch system is already more than five years behind schedule. It’s been in development for almost a decade, but has been slowed by countless delays and cost overruns. Estimates by the Planetary Society show that the program’s development costs skyrocketed from his initial $7 billion to about $23 billion.
If successful, the Artemis project, named after the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo, will return humans to the moon for the first time in 50 years. No one has visited the moon since his Apollo 17 in December 1972.
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