Launch of the mega rocket to the Moon: Nasa announces a new attempt this Saturday
Steph Deschamps / August 31, 2022
Nasa announced Tuesday that it would attempt to launch its new mega rocket to the Moon on Saturday, after a first failed attempt on Monday due to a technical problem.
We have agreed to change our launch date to Saturday, September 3, said Mike Sarafin, in charge of the Artemis 1 mission at NASA, which will mark the beginning of the U.S. program to return to the Moon, at a press conference.
A weather official said he was optimistic about the weather on Saturday, although the probability of unfavorable conditions during the two-hour launch window, which begins at 14:17 local time, is high.
The launch of the rocket had been cancelled Monday at the last moment because of a problem of cooling of one of the four main engines, under the main stage. These RS-25 engines must be cooled to avoid any shock with the ultra-cold fuel when they are ignited. But one of them did not manage to reach the desired temperature.
This temperature is reached by letting escape a tiny part of the cryogenic fuel on the engines. The problem was due to a bad connection on a component of the spacecraft, which has since been fixed, said John Honeycutt, in charge of the rocket program.
A leakage problem when filling the fuel tanks had also been observed on Monday, and even if it could be overcome, Nasa teams will work to fix it by Saturday.
The Artemis 1 mission is scheduled to propel the unmanned Orion capsule into orbit around the moon to verify that the vehicle is safe for future astronauts -- including the first woman and the first person of color to walk on the lunar surface.