We’ve been waiting for the first rocket flight for years NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), and the long-awaited takeoff was to take place on August 29. But as is often the case when launching a new rocket, a technical problem with one of the engines compelled officials to postpone the departure of the SLS launcher and the Orion capsule.
In a tweet, the US space agency said: ” the start of Artemis 1 will no longer take place today, teams are in the process of finding a solution to an air bleed problem at the level of an engine”.
The decision to cancel the flight has been taken 40 minutes before the scheduled take-off time. It is not totally surprising if we consider the importance of the mission and the allocated budget. Moreover, last week, a NASA official had indicated that the flight could be canceled for several reasons. He cited, for example, bad weather, technical problems, or problems with public safety.
A series of technical problems
After months of testing and repairs, the Artemis 1 mission was finally scheduled to lift off at 12:33 GMT. However, a series of problems ended up causing the take-off to be postponed.
During the night of August 28, an electrical storm came close to the Kennedy Space Center. This forced NASA to delay the filling of the rocket tanks. Later, technicians discovered a hydrogen leak. There has also been a communication problem with the Orion capsule. Finally, it was an engine problem that led to the cancellation of the flight.
A new launch date
For the moment, we are waiting for NASA to decide on a new date to carry out the launch, knowing that the current launch window is open until September 6. If the take-off does not take place before this date, it will be necessary to wait for the period between September 19 and October 4.
So let’s wait to hear NASA’s decision on this mission, which serves as a test for the Artemis Program. The latter aims to bring astronauts from the American space agency back to the Moon, along with astronauts from partner agencies.