The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) postponed a critical test of its new Space Launch System (SLS) missile on Sunday, April 3. Shortly after noon Central European Time, he announced that he was canceling the test due to a problem with the mobile launcher platform.
The agency planned to refuel the rocket as part of a so-called “wet overhaul” that it had mimic the countdown process before the start for the upcoming Artemis 1 moon mission, which is scheduled to take place later this year.
The rocket test didn’t even begin
The day began with a test permit from launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson. The first steps were taken to prepare for the test, including the final steps required to connect the mobile launch platform to the SLS rocket and its accompanying Orion module.
The rocket engines as such were not to be ignited, but various processes were to be tested, including closing the system’s supply cables to the movement of the deflectors and – the part that eventually caused the stumbling – filling liquid hydrogen and oxygen into tanks cryogenic rocket and core power stage.
Even before NASA staff began filling the spacecraft with 2.6 million liters of liquid fuel, the agency found that the system, which is essential for the safety of the rocket, had failed. He said he had lost the ability to maintain pressure in the mobile launcher.
The engineers investigated the problem and found a problem with the fan. “Fans are needed to ensure overpressure in the enclosed spaces inside the rocket and to prevent dangerous gases from entering them,” NASA said. “Without this capability, technicians cannot safely continue to charge rocket and cryogenic propellants.”
It was not the first complication
Testing has been delayed once due to bad weather. NASA has announced that four lightning bolts have struck the lighting towers of the launch pad. The Agency confirmed that “The first three strikes that hit Tower Two were of low intensity and continue to verify data from the fourth strike, which was higher in intensity, and hit Tower Number One.” The fan problem is not expected to be related to lightning strikes.
During Sunday’s teleconference, mission leader Mike Sarafin and launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said the teams were continuing to address the fan problem and would try to eliminate it later that evening. NASA plans to will continue the wet rehearsal on Monday, April 4.
A successful test would be an important milestone for NASA. It has spent more than $ 23 billion (approximately 507 billion crowns) on the development of the Space Launch System over ten years. The rocket is an essential element of many plans for flights to the moon and other areas.
if you want monitor the current situation livethen we can bring to your attention a live stream on YouTube provided by the Kennedy Space Center.
Artemis Live: The Return of Man to the Moon
Artemis is NASA’s space program designed to restore human flights to the moon. A Gateway station will be built in the Moon’s orbit. The crew to the station will be transported by the Orion spacecraft, launched by the SLS rocket. Astronauts will be transported to the surface of the Moon by the HLS module, which will be at least the Starship from SpaceX on the first landing.
- Artemis 1: An unmanned flight in which the ship Orion will be launched into orbit around the Moon and then back to Earth. Deadline: end of 2021
- Artemis 2: Piloted orbit of the Moon. Deadline: year 2023
- Artemis 3: Man landing on the moon. Deadline: at the earliest in 2024
- CLPS: Transportation of scientific experiments to the surface of the Moon in support of the Artemis program. Deadline: from 2021