NASA postpones Artemis I lunar mission due to engine troubletext_fields
After 50 years since the Apollo lunar missions, NASA is getting ready to launch the first rocket, Artemis I, that can take humans to the moon. The launch director announced that the mission will be postponed till September 2 since the issue with an engine could not be resolved.
The uncrewed mission's launch countdown clock was put on hold a short while before the scheduled time due to a malfunctioning RS-25 engine on the SLS rocket. A team of engineers noticed that one of the engines was not bleeding with liquid hydrogen and oxygen as expected.
The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The 1.3m mile test mission is slated to last 42 days and is aiming to take the Orion vehicle 40,000 miles past the far side of the moon, reported The Guardian.
Artemis I will be taking off from the same facility where Apollo missions were launched in 1972.
The mission is designed to find out whether the moon can be used as a springboard to eventually send astronauts to Mars. The Nasa administrator Bill Nelson said this is now the Artemis generation. "This is a new generation. This is a new type of astronaut."
It is designed to carry six astronauts but this time, only mannequins are aboard the vehicle. A mannequin named Commander Moonikin Campos will be on the commander's seat. Two other mannequins, Helga and Zohar, will also be boarding the Lunar flight. They have torsos made of material similar to the soft tissue, organs, and bones of a woman. Fitted with 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors, they will record information during the flight.
Scientists are evaluating the next-generation spacesuits and radiation levels. According to NASA, Artemis I is the first in a series of complex missions that will make human exploration of the Moon and Mars possible.
The primary goal of Artemis I is to test the Orion capsule's safe re-entry to Earth, descent, splashdown, and recovery. If it was launched today, the splashdown was scheduled for October 10, 2022.