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NASA reschedules Artemis I launch | News

Marking the first integrated flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft beyond the Moon, the Artemis I launch will represent a moment of space history.

As a result of the previous aborted missions, NASA on Monday (12th Sep) said it will conduct the demonstration test no earlier than 21st September.

It has updated its request for launch opportunity to 27th September, with a potential backup opportunity of 2nd October currently under review.

NASA had to abort the previous launch dates as a result due to a liquid hydrogen leak.

Speaking at the time, Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s Artemis Launch Director, said teams encountered a liquid hydrogen leak while loading the propellant into the rocket’s core stage.

He also reported that multiple troubleshooting efforts to address the area of ​​the leak, by reseating a seal in the quick disconnect where liquid hydrogen is fed into the rocket, did not fix the issue.

Read more: Aborted Artemis launch thrusts hydrogen safety into global spotlight

Read more: In focus… Industrial gases and space exploration

While it can’t definitively be said what caused the leak, attention is focusing on inadvertent over-pressurization of the hydrogen line early morning, and incorrect commands to the wrong valve, according to reports.

Engineers attempted to flush helium through the line but without success.

gasworld understands that Artemis I teams spent the weekend completing repair work to the area of ​​the hydrogen leak, reconnecting the ground – and rocket – side plates on the quick disconnect for the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line, where two seals were last week replaced.

NASA has said that teams will this week conduct tests at ambient conditions to ensure there is a tight bond between the two plates before testing again during the cryogenic tanking demonstration and begin preparations for test.

Both liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen will be loaded into the core and intimin cryogenic propulsion stage of the SLS as part of the demonstration. This will enable NASA to see whether the previously detected leaks have been repaired successfully.

If the launch goes ahead as planned on 27th September, Artemis I is expected to land on 5th November.

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