The Artemis I mission returns NASA to the SLS rocket hall

Since the beginning of this month, NASA has made several failed attempts to launch Artemis I missions. A suit exercise that includes refueling and countdown to the last 10 seconds (T-10). A test that is exactly the same as the one performed at start-up, but this without the engines.

Testing was started early in the morning due to the supply of nitrogen gas to the block supporting the tank functions, which caused the tank temperature to rise slowly during the loading of liquid oxygen.

After resolving the problem, which was not immediately described by the agency, after about three hours, the loading of liquid oxygen was restarted. But at about 1 p.m., liquid hydrogen began flowing out onto the central stage, according to updates provided by NASA’s Twitter account.

Photo: NASA / DR

The process was stopped as soon as it was detected, as the engineers noticed an increase in pressure as it moved from the initial slow filling of the propellant to rapid filling.

At this point, the intermediate liquid oxygen tank was 49 percent full, but the liquid hydrogen tank was only five percent full.

Another problem with NASA in their hands ordered the test to be canceled and the launcher to empty the center tank. And the rocket was ordered back into the hall for inspection and repair.

It is not yet clear when NASA will retest this type of SLS test. The U.S. Space Agency simply said it would not continue the final phase of the countdown and instead “evaluate the next steps after the operations.”

Despite the second postponement, this test went the furthest in what is planned in the dressing practice.

Keep in mind that the first one, on April 3rd, stopped before the propeller charging started. The other, the next day, also filled the liquid oxygen tank in the middle to about 50%, but stopped before the liquid hydrogen charge had time to begin because the valve of the mobile launch vehicle was incorrectly configured.

After another attempt, technicians found a defective helium check valve in the upper stage and continued with a modified plan for a jam test that did not include filling the tanks of that stage with propellants.

“We believe we will be able to meet most of our test goals and get a reasonably good set of data,” Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, director of launch at NASA Artemis, said at a April 11 news conference.

Now a 98-meter-high SLS rocket, including the Orion capsule at the tip, parked at Pier 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, will return to the hall where it will be repaired from April 26, according to NASA.

Photo: NASA / DR

Asked about the start date for Artemis 1’s unmanned operation, Tom Whitmeyer said “the planned window in early June would be a challenge.”

This is because the windows of opportunity to perform a test flight around the Moon are somewhat conditional, due to the relative position of the Earth and the Moon, in addition to the rocket consuming to fly in the dark, as it requires sunlight to maintain heat regulation.

The delay in the Artemis 1 mission will inevitably affect the following missions programmed by NASA: Artemis 2, with the first unmanned flight around the Moon, and Artemis 3, the manned mission with the first woman and the first black. a person landing on the moon’s ground.

NASA says on the mission page that “we will use what we have learned on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: send the first astronauts to Mars,” which is still scheduled for 2030.

Leave a Comment