NASA launch pad sustained significant damage during Artemis liftoff
“The elevator doors were blown off…”
It appears NASA’s Artemis 1 rocket launch pad sustained much more damage than expected when it finally took off from the Kennedy Space Center last week.
As Reuters space reporter Joey Roulette tweetedsaid a source within the agency that the damage to the launch pad “exceeded mission management’s expectations,” and by his description, it sounds pretty serious.
“Elevator doors were blown off, several pipes were broken, some large sheets of metal were left lying around,” the Reuters commented reporter in response to SpaceNewsJeff Foust, who op Friday summarized a NASA statement admitting that the launch pad elevators failed to work because a “pressure wave” blew off the blast doors.
The launch of Artemis 1 was preceded by years of drama ranging from the long-delayed development of the Space Launch System that carried it into space to the spacecraft damage sustained by a hurricane just before launch.
Shortly after launch, NASA acknowledged that debris had fallen the missile, though officials claim it posed “no additional risk” to the mission.
However, despite those optimistic claims, reporters revealed that NASA seemed terribly intent on them not photograph the Artemis launch tower – and now, with these preliminary reports on how messy it seems to have gotten, we may know why.
We don’t yet know the extent of the damage to the launch tower, although we have contacted NASA for comment. Fortunately, it wasn’t bad enough to prevent the Orion capsule from successfully launching into space and getting started taking selfies and pictures of the moonat least.
The real question? How this will affect future launches of the SLS, which should send American astronauts to the moon in a few years.
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