Despite encountering a series of fueling leaks and difficulties in chilling one of the booster engines to the proper temperature before liftoff, the United States space agency, NASA, postponed Monday’s launch of a new rocket and crew capsule that will eventually carry astronauts to the moon. Depending on the outcome, NASA may attempt the launch again on Friday if it can resolve the problems.
Due to fuel leaks, NASA has canceled the test launch of its new moon rocket on a no-crew flight. The next launch is unlikely to take place before Friday. Three test dummies were set to fly aboard the 322-foot rocket on its first flight, which was scheduled to launch yesterday. pic.twitter.com/8l8ouuog3l
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Bill Nelson, the NASA administrator, said the launch would be delayed until it was “right.” He added, “You can’t go.” Various guidelines must be followed, which illustrates that this is a very complicated piece of machinery and a complex system. As Nelson explained, you should not light the candle before it is ready. After they fix [the problems], the rocket will fly.”
The NASA crew couldn’t cool the rocket booster’s engine to the required temperature, which involved running liquid hydrogen at negative 217 degrees Celsius through it. Many fixes were tried, but none were successful. It was delayed earlier on Monday because of a thunderstorm near the launch site in the southeast state of Florida, and a fuel leak found while fueling the rocket.
Highly Explosive Hydrogen Leak
America is working toward sending astronauts back to the moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended fifty years ago, and the shakedown flight will be a huge step forward in that effort. According to NASA, four astronauts will travel to the moon in 2024, and humans could land there in 2025. Unfortunately, there was a leak in the equipment used to fill the Space Launch System rocket with super-cold hydrogen and oxygen. As a result, NASA repeatedly stopped and restarted the fueling process as precious minutes ticked away.
Despite thunderstorms off Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, fueling was already running almost an hour behind schedule. A highly explosive hydrogen leak appeared in the same place where it occurred during the spring dress rehearsal. An apparent hydrogen leak was also found in a valve that NASA thought had been fixed after causing problems in June.
The Orion capsule is being launched without astronauts aboard using NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful rocket in NASA’s history. In about six weeks, Orion will return to Earth after going around the moon. In addition, NASA’s Artemis program aims to launch the first woman as part of the first walk on the moon since 1972. Artemis also involves the construction of a moon base, and NASA plans to take the knowledge it gains to guide efforts to get astronauts to Mars.
The space agency will have to decide whether to launch Monday morning after repeated attempts to fix the first leak, said NASA’s assistant launch director, Jeremy Graeber. In his caution, Graeber said they have much work to do before they get to that point. A scrub of Monday’s launch will take place soon on Friday if NASA decides to skip it.
Despite outmuscling, even the Saturn V rocket that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon, NASA’s 322-foot rocket is the most powerful ever constructed. Orion’s capsule was not carrying any astronauts. Instead, the test dummies were used for the six-week mission, scheduled to end in October when the capsule splashes into the Pacific. The dummies were fitted with sensors to measure vibration and cosmic radiation.
A huge crowd gathered along the coast despite no one being on board the rocket when it took off. VIPs included Vice President Kamala Harris. Artemis is named after Apollo’s mythological twin sister and is NASA’s first 21st-century moon-exploration mission. In 1990, NASA’s space shuttle program faced disruptions caused by hydrogen fuel leaks, causing launch delays.
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