Washington: NASA has delayed yet again it’s Artemis 1 moon rocket launch and it is now that the US NASA space agency has plans to launch for August, according to the media. Artemis 1 was originally set to launch in May 2022. But, due to numerous delays in the wet dress rehearsal that was touted as the last test, the giant moon rocket was delayed further.
NASA will now begin the final tests in June and if everything goes as planned, it could pave the way for the first launch of the rocket on August 1, Space.com reported. Space.com reported that the Artemis 1 stack, a large Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, with the Orion crew capsule on top, was rolled out onto Pad 39B in NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida in March mid-March to conduct it’s “wet practice” an important sequence of tests which includes fueling the SLS.
Although the wet dress started at the beginning of April, and expected to be finished two days after, the team ran into many issues, such as an impermanent valve on the mobile launch tower as well as a hydrogen leak in one of the “umbilical” lines that connects the tower with the SLS. This caused delays and eventually a stop after three attempts to fuel.
The 25th of April the team took on the Artemis 1 stack off Pad 39B back to KSC’s large Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to study the issue and fix the issues, NASA officials were quoted in the last week’s news in addition to stating that the probe for the defective valve is still in progress.
But, while the probe is in progress the team remains hopeful for another chance to test a wet dress.
“We’re currently looking at the next dress that will be wet between the mid-June and early June time frame,” Jim Free, director of the associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington was quoted as saying.
To do this, teams would need to get their SLS along with Orion in the VAB in late May, as Artemis 1 Artemis 1 team will require twelve to fourteen days of preparation for the test of wet dresses, Free added.
Free was convinced that the fourth time around will be successful, but Free acknowledged that “it might require more than one effort to find the processes where we require them”.
Although NASA hasn’t decided on a release date to Artemis 1 until the wet dress is completed, Free mentioned August as the most likely date frame as of now.