NASA lunar rocket successfully completes ground test after repairs

The top of the SLS rocket on September 6, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, prior to the Artemis 1 mission to the Moon afp_tickers

This content was published on 22 September 2022 – 00:31


A ground test of NASA’s new megarocket, aimed at verifying the success of repairs carried out after two failed takeoff attempts a few weeks ago, was successfully carried out on Wednesday in Florida, the US space agency announced.

“Every goal we set for ourselves has been met,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, launch manager for the Artemis 1 mission, which will be the first in the program to return Americans to the moon.

At the beginning of September, the launch of the SLS rocket, the most powerful ever built, had to be canceled at the last minute due to a leak observed when filling its tanks with cryogenic fuel – liquid oxygen and hydrogen.

Hydrogen is highly flammable and these leaks must be avoided at all costs.

NASA has since made repairs, replacing a gasket at the connection between the rocket and the large hoses that supply it with fuel. The seal had been damaged by debris of unknown origin.

Wednesday’s test included refilling the fuel tanks.

A small leak of hydrogen was once again observed during operations, but was brought under control by NASA teams.

Last week, the agency said it was targeting Tuesday, September 27 for the next launch attempt, less than a week away. An alternative date, October 2, was also announced.

“Teams will evaluate test data, as well as weather conditions and other factors, before confirming that everything is ready for the next launch opportunity,” NASA said in a blog post.

Asked about it, Blackwell-Thompson declined to comment but said she was “very encouraged” by the progress of the trial on Wednesday.

For the September 27 date to be met, NASA also needs to obtain a waiver from the US Space Force for the battery life of the rocket’s emergency self-destruct system, which is designed to detonate should the trajectory after takeoff.

It was normally limited to 25 days, but the rocket has been on its launch pad for much longer.

In addition, the path of Hurricane Fiona, off the coast of Florida, is being closely watched.

The Article Is In Spanish🡽

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