Artemis Launch Nixed, Again

0



(Newser)

NASA’s new moon rocket sprang another dangerous fuel leak Saturday, forcing launch controllers to call off their second attempt to send a crew capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies. The first attempt earlier in the week was also marred by escaping hydrogen, but those leaks were elsewhere on the 322-foot rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA, per the AP. Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, the director of the launch, and her team tried to plug Saturday’s leak the way they did the last time: stopping and restarting the flow of super-cold liquid hydrogen in hopes of removing the gap around a seal in the supply line. They tried that twice, in fact, and also flushed helium through the line. But the leak persisted.

Blackwell-Thompson finally halted the countdown after three to four hours of futile effort. On Monday, hydrogen fuel escaped from elsewhere in the rocket. Before igniting, the main engines need to be as frigid as the liquid hydrogen fuel flowing into them at minus-420 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, the resulting damage could lead to an abrupt engine shutdown and aborted flight. Mission managers accepted the additional risk posed by the engine issue, as well as a separate problem: cracks in the rocket’s insulating foam. But they acknowledged other problems—like fuel leaks—could prompt yet another delay.

NASA wants to send the crew capsule atop the rocket around the moon, pushing it to the limit before astronauts get on the next flight. If the five-week demo with test dummies succeeds, astronauts could fly around the moon in 2024 and land on it in 2025. The $4.1 billion test flight is the first step in NASA’s Artemis program of renewed lunar exploration, named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology. Twelve astronauts walked on the moon during NASA’s Apollo program, the last time in 1972. Artemis—years behind schedule and billions over budget—aims to establish a sustained human presence on the moon, with crews eventually spending weeks at a time there. It’s considered a training ground for Mars.

(Read more Artemis missions stories.)

FB.Event.subscribe('edge.create', function (response) { AnalyticsCustomEvent('Facebook', 'Like', 'P'); }); };

// Load the SDK asynchronously (function (d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

 

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment
Enable Notifications OK No thanks