NASA to make second try at debut moon rocket launch on Saturday

Cape Canaveral: NASA will strive once more Saturday to launch its new moon rocket on a take a look at flight, after engine bother halted the primary countdown this week. Managers mentioned Tuesday they’re altering fueling procedures to take care of the difficulty.

The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket stays on its pad at Kennedy Area Heart, with an empty crew capsule on prime. It is probably the most highly effective rocket ever constructed by NASA.

The Area Launch System rocket, or SLS, will try to ship the capsule across the moon and again. Nobody will likely be aboard, simply three take a look at dummies. If profitable, it is going to be the primary capsule to fly to the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years in the past.

Throughout Monday’s launch try, one of many 4 predominant engines within the rocket’s core stage couldn’t be chilled sufficiently previous to deliberate ignition moments earlier than liftoff. The three others got here up just a bit quick.

The chilling operation will likely be performed a half-hour earlier for Saturday afternoon’s strive, as soon as fueling is underway on the pad, officers mentioned.

John Honeycutt, NASA’s program supervisor for the rocket, informed reporters that the timing of this engine chilldown was earlier throughout profitable testing final yr, and so shifting it sooner might do the trick.

Honeycutt additionally questioned the integrity of 1 engine sensor, saying it may need offered inaccurate knowledge Monday. To alter that sensor, he famous, would imply hauling the rocket again into the hangar, which might imply weeks of delay.

The $4.1 billion take a look at flight is the opening shot in NASA’s Artemis moon-exploration program, named after the dual sister of Apollo in Greek mythology. Astronauts may strap in as quickly as 2024 for a lap across the moon and truly try a lunar touchdown in 2025.

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