NASA plans to try another Artemis I launch on Saturday | Pro IQRA News

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NASA is now targeting Saturday for the launch of its Artemis I mission, which appears to be putting the unmanned spacecraft in orbit around the moon, after Monday’s planned launch was cancelled.

The US space agency was forced to cancel the launch because of a problem with one of its rocket engines.

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the unmanned Orion orbiter are part of NASA’s planned return to the moon, called the Artemis program. This mission, Artemis I, will see the Orion spacecraft orbit the moon for a 42-day mission.

WATCH | Artemis launch postponed:

NASA races to get Artemis mission back on track after launch was delayed

NASA is trying to figure out exactly what went wrong with the Artemis 1 rocket after canceling a planned launch Monday due to heating problems with one of the engines. The next window available to try again is Friday, if they can get the rockets ready in time.

Artemis II is expected sometime in 2024 or 2025. Four astronauts – including a Canadian – will orbit the moon. And finally, Artemis III — which is likely to happen in the 2030s — will return humans to the lunar surface.

NASA ran into a few snags on Monday, and couldn’t work it all out.

First he had to delay loading of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen rocket propellants due to nearby lightning.

WATCH | A ‘very complicated’ engine:

‘We didn’t launch until it was right,’ NASA administrator said

NASA administrator Bill Nelson highlighted the complexities of space launches, and how they were able to test Artemis I to the next level as it operates unmanned.

After the storm subsides, the propellant is not loaded at the appropriate speed.

Then there’s the helium leak — an issue experienced during some “wet shirt” drills, a kind of mock launch where the technician skips all the necessary steps and stops just before takeoff.

When all seemed clear—the main tank had loaded the propellant, and the second stage as well—there was a problem with one of the four rocket engines. Engine No. 3 did not reach the exact temperature range required for takeoff, and the team ran out of time to fix it.

Launch weather officer Marc Berger said the weather forecast for Saturday would be different from the previous week, when the area experienced several thunderstorms.

Sea breezes are expected to push land, but that means thunderstorms and precipitation are possible.

SLS cannot be launched during any rainfall.

Berger said he remains optimistic that there may be sunny weather during the launch window.

If the launch fails due to weather, Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said they could try again within 48 hours.

Saturday’s two-hour launch window opens at 2:17 p.m. ET.

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