The Artemis I mission rocket will have its third launch attempt on Tuesday, September 27, but Tropical Depression Nine could change that.
The 70-minute launch window opens at 11:37 am (Miami time) and the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft continue on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Concerns about the formation of the weather system in the Caribbean mean that weather conditions are only 20% favorable for a launch. The current track of the tropical depression puts the storm on track to impact Cuba and Florida early next week.
Given the uncertainty in the storm’s path, intensity and arrival time, the Artemis team will use the most recent data to inform its decision, said Mike Bolger, manager of NASA’s Earth Systems Exploration Program.
These companies will design the Artemis III mission suits“Deep tropical moisture will pour through the spaceport on Tuesday, with widespread cloud cover and scattered showers likely during the launch window,” according to a forecast published by the Spaceport. US Space Force on Friday.
Restrictions on launch require that the Artemis I mission not fly through any precipitation. The launch restrictions are designed to prevent natural and rocket-induced lightning strikes in mid-flight, which could damage the rocket and endanger public safety, according to the Space Force.
Rocket-fired lightning forms when a large rocket flies through a strong enough atmospheric electric field that a cloud that doesn’t produce natural lightning could still cause rocket-fired lightning, according to the Space Force.
The Artemis team is keeping a close eye on the weather and will make a decision on Saturday. If the rocket stack is to be relocated to the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, the process could take several days.
And from the leak of liquid hydrogen, what?
Meanwhile, the Artemis team is buoyed after “a really successful tank test” and “the rocket is looking good for the next few launch attempts,” said John Blevins, SLS chief engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in New York. NASA in Huntsville, Alabama.
The crucial refueling test for the lunar megarocket met all of its goals on Wednesday, despite two separate hydrogen leaks.
The purpose of the cryogenic demonstration was to test the replaced seals and use updated, “kinder and gentler” loading procedures for the supercold propellant that the rocket would experience on launch day.
NASA engineers detected a leak of liquid hydrogen during the test that had “the same signature” as the leak that prevented the September 3 launch attempt. However, their troubleshooting efforts allowed the team to get the leak under control.
Know the origin of the name of NASA’s Artemis missionThe team was able to completely fill the core stage with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. They also completed an engine purge test, which conditions all four engines and lowers their temperature before launch. (The mission team scrapped the first Artemis I launch attempt on August 29 due in large part to a problem with a faulty sensor that occurred during the purge.)
A hydrogen leak detected on the 4-inch quick-disconnect line for engine bleeding exceeded the 4% threshold during a pre-pressurization test. This quick disconnect line transports the liquid hydrogen out of the engines after it has passed through the engines and cooled. But the leak rate dropped on its own.
The inaugural mission of the Artemis program will kick off a phase of NASA space exploration intended to land diverse crews of astronauts in previously unexplored regions of the Moon, on the Artemis II and Artemis III missions, scheduled for 2024 and 2025. , respectively, and eventually deliver manned missions to Mars.