December 9, 2022

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UPDATE: Artemis 1 moon launch CANCELED for second time

Tonight will be the second launch attempt of NASA’s Artemis 1 mission. Here’s where and what time you can watch the giant SLS rocket lift off.

UPDATE:

The launch of the Artemis 1 mission was canceled for the second time on Saturday. Originally scheduled for 21:17 (Romanian time zone), the launch will not take place due to the difficulties encountered during the filling phase of the tanks, reports the French press, which quotes the director general of ESA, the European Space Agency. .

The variant of canceling the launch had previously been evoked as a possibility by CNN, also as a result of problems filling the tanks of the SLS launcher.

It is the second cancellation of the mission launch due to technical reasons, after the one on Monday.

ORIGINAL NEWS:

At 21:17 Italian time today, Saturday, September 3, 2022, the two-hour launch window opens (so until 22:17) for NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, the first part of the space program that will bring the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface, half a century after Apollo.

The event can be watched via streaming on multiple media such as NASA TV (official source) and various social platforms. This will be the second attempt after the one that failed on Monday, August 29 due to a problem that turned out to be much less significant than originally thought.

Watch the live launch HERE: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public

Artemis 1 launch to the moon: Where to watch the launch live

In very simple terms, a sensor suggested that engine 3 of the SLS rocket was not cooling as well as the other engines during the countdown, but the fault was with the sensor and not the engine or the purge system as originally believed. Therefore, NASA decided to try the launch again this week. Changing the time/date of a missile launch is a complex operation that requires careful planning, as the celestial bodies are in constant motion. Trajectories, mission durations and, especially, costs in terms of weight and propulsion may vary, but the US space agency has planned a number of useful windows until the summer of 2023 in case of problems.

The threat of weather looms over tonight’s launch, but according to the latest bulletins, the overall chance of getting a “GO” has increased from 40 to 60 percent, while some points in the launch window are forecast to have good weather at a rate of 80 percent. In short, there’s a good chance tonight will see the SLS rocket lift off to lunar orbit for a crucial unmanned test mission ahead of the manned Artemis 2 mission (2024) and Artemis 3 mission, which will see a moon landing (scheduled for 2025). As astronaut Umberto Guidoni told Fanpage, the cost of the Artemis program should have been about $20 billion, but now it has reached about $100 billion (spread over 10 years).

Why the Artemis 1 mission was delayed: what happened

To the disappointment of many, on August 29, NASA was forced to cancel the launch of Artemis 1 and delay the mission’s departure until today, Saturday, September 3. But what exactly happened? Simply put, during the countdown, a sensor detected that engine 3 of the base stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was not cooling down properly (to -250° C) like the other three engines, so it was decided to suspend take off.

However, at the last press conference, NASA confirmed that the problem was related to the sensor and not the engine, nor the “purging” system mentioned at the beginning. So the engine was cooling as expected, only the sensor was giving an incorrect result. In practice, the problem was a “non-problem”. This is why it was decided to resume the launch a few days after the postponement. NASA said that in tonight’s test, it will monitor the temperature of Engine 3 (a 2006 RS-25 derived from the space shuttle program) from data from other sensors. All that’s left to do is wait for the exciting new countdown.

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