NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket ‘on track’ to roll to path Friday (Nov. 4)
NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket will make another trip to the launch pad on Friday (Nov. 4) ahead of its historic moon mission.
Artemis 1 is the first mission for NASA’s massive Space Launch System (SLS) mega rocket and the second for the Orion spacecraft capsule that will launch it into orbit around the moon. The rocket has rolled back to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) three times before — once in April and July after tank testing, and again in September at shelter from Hurricane Ian.
If all goes according to plan, SLS and Orion will return to Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday (Nov. 4), with the 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) journey beginning at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401). GMT), according to a NASA blog post (opens in new tab) published on Friday (October 28). NASA adds that “minor repairs identified through detailed inspections have been largely completed” on the SLS rocket before the next launch window.
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After its final return to the VAB on Sept. 26 to protect SLS from Hurricane Ian, NASA engineers completed tests and repairs on the rocket. “Testing of the response control system on the dual solid rocket boosters, as well as the installation of the flight batteries, has been completed and those components are ready to fly,” NASA wrote in the statement. blog post.
NASA adds that engineers have also replaced batteries on the intermediate cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS), which “was turned on for a series of tests to ensure the stage is functioning properly.” Final confidence checks were also completed on the ICPS, the second stage of the rocket that will propel it and the Orion capsule to the moon once the SLS solid rocket boosters and core stage are jettisoned after the launch and the first stage.
There are still several systems that engineers continue to work on, including replacing batteries on the core stage and the top section of the rocket. Testing of the flight termination system, which is designed to destroy the SLS if something goes wrong during launch, will resume next week once the rocket is back on track, NASA wrote.
The agency will attempt to launch the Artemis 1 mission no earlier than Nov. 14 at 12:07 a.m. EDT (0407 GMT).
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