NASA's Artemis 1 spacecraft on track for November 14 launch
After several hurdles, NASA's Artemis 1 is finally on track to be rolled out to the launch pad. The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft will be moved to the Launch Pad 39B on November 4 at 12:01 am EDT (9:31 am IST). The agency is aiming for a launch no earlier than November 14 at 12:07 am EDT (9:37 am IST).
Why does this story matter?
- If everything goes according to plan, the Artemis 1 spacecraft will finally take off to the Moon on the proposed launch date.
- The earlier launch attempts failed due to an engine problem on the SLS rocket in August and because of a fuel leak in September.
- Owing to Hurricane Ian in Florida, the launch dates were further pushed to November.
When and from where will Artemis 1 take off?
Due to the tropical storm, the SLS rocket as well as the Orion capsule were rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The team at NASA is now ready to send back the spacecraft to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday, just 10 days before its scheduled launch date.
What changes have been made?
The Artemis team claims to have completed the majority of 'minor repairs.' The batteries on the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) have also been replaced. "Testing of the reaction control system on the twin solid rocket boosters, as well as the installation of the flight batteries, is complete and those components are ready for flight," said NASA in its official blog post.
Testing of flight termination system begins next week
That's not all. Engineers will continue to work on the intertank area of the core stage and the upper section of the boosters. "Flight termination system testing will start next week on the intertank and booster and once complete, those elements will be ready for launch. Charging of the secondary payloads in the Orion stage adapter is complete," the space agency added.