October 6, 2022

Ferrum College : Iron Blade Online

Complete Canadian News World

Artemis I passes tank testing ahead of possible launch next week - Orlando Sentinel

Artemis I passes tank testing ahead of possible launch next week – Orlando Sentinel

NASA removed a major snag on Wednesday to keep up its hopes of launching next week’s Artemis I lunar mission from the Kennedy Space Center.

After doing a scrub earlier this month, NASA went to work to fix a liquid hydrogen leak in the fuel lines at the KSC 39-B launch pad. It underwent a full tank test on Wednesday for the basic and upper stages of the Space Launch System which could lead to a possible launch as early as Tuesday.

“All the goals we set out to do, we were able to achieve them today,” Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell Thompson said at the end of the nearly 10-hour test.

Despite the optimistic outlook, Blackwell Thompson stopped short of emphasizing that NASA was ready to take off.

“I don’t like to pre-empt data,” she said. “So I’d like the team to have the opportunity to look at it, to see if there are changes we need to make to our loading routines, our schedules, if we’re OK, but I’d like the team to have a chance to look at that before I expect.” .

But the test was not without problems. Once again, a leak in the same fuel line that forced the scrubbing during the Sept. 3 attempt caused a headache for NASA. But the teams were able to reset the fuel line flow, reducing leakage to acceptable levels so that more than 730,000 gallons of refrigerated fuel were loaded into the rocket.

“You will be disappointed when you see a leak,” Blackwell Thompson said, noting the frustration of the launch team. “I think that’s normal. But what they did was they went and looked at our emergency procedures, and what do we have? How do we work our way through them? And they went through these processes just as I expected them to do, and we were successful in managing our way through them.”

See also  Mars: Noise detected by NASA's Insight probe may indicate an active planet with volcanic activity

The teams were also able to finish two tests that were originally part of last spring’s wet clothes workout that never materialized due to similar liquid hydrogen leaks.

Completing all test objectives opens the door to a possible launch, but NASA still needs approval to go from the US Space Force, which controls how far the rocket will be launched.

NASA is seeking a waiver of a rule around battery screening in a rocket’s flight termination system, which currently requires NASA to ensure batteries are charged within 25 days. This operation would require a 5.75-million-pound, 322-foot set of rockets, a launcher, and a spacecraft to return to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

The last time the self-destruction mechanism was checked was before August 16, when Artemis I moved to the launch pad from the VAB.

It is unclear when a decision will be made on this.

If NASA obtains this waiver, it is pursuing two possible launch dates. The Tuesday window is a 70-minute window that opens at 11:37 a.m. and flies on a nearly 40-day mission and lands on Earth on November 5. The second is Sunday, October 2, a 109-minute window that opens at 2:52 p.m. and flies on a nearly 41-day mission and lands on November 11.

Artemis I is the first of a series of missions NASA plans to return humans to the Moon and eventually to Mars. This first unmanned flight appears to prove that the Orion spacecraft can support humans as it will travel far beyond the Moon and back to Earth faster than any other human-classified spacecraft.

If successful, it will be followed by an Artemis II manned mission to orbit the moon in 2024 followed by Artemis III early in 2025, which aims to return humans including the first woman to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972.

Follow coverage of the Orlando Sentinel area in Facebook.com/goforlaunchsentinel.