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Artemis 1: NASA announces the launch of a new lunar rocket on Saturday

Artemis 1: NASA announces the launch of a new lunar rocket on Saturday

The US space agency (NASA) announced, Tuesday, that it will attempt to launch the new moon rocket SLS on Saturday, after the first failed attempt on Monday due to a technical problem.

“We have agreed to postpone our launch date to Saturday, September 3rd,” said mission director Mike Sarafin, which is expected to mark the start of the US mission’s return to the moon programme.

A meteorological official said he was “optimistic” about the weather on Saturday, although the possibility of unfavorable conditions was “high.”

On Monday, NASA acknowledged launching the SLS on Friday if it could resolve the technical issues that led to its cancellation by Thursday, on the launch pad.

The launch will be possible on Friday — the second date previously approved by NASA if the liftoff was canceled — as long as technical issues at the launch pad are resolved within the next 48 to 72 hours, Mike Sarafin told a news conference.

In a statement, NASA said one of the device’s four central module engines was justifying the cancellation of the uncrewed SLS test flight in which the Orion spacecraft, which will orbit the moon, did not reach the appropriate launch temperature.

John Honeycutt, in charge of NASA’s rocket program, said the problem was caused by “bad contact” in an element of the spacecraft, which has since been “fixed.”

The technical team will meet today to analyze the data, understand errors and make corrections.

If it materializes, the launch of the SLS, which has been successively postponed over the years, would mark the beginning of the Artemis lunar program, with which the United States intends to return to the lunar surface in 2025, one year later than expected. Earth is the first female astronaut and the first black female astronaut.

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Before that, NASA wants to return astronauts to lunar orbit in 2024.

The SLS is NASA’s most powerful rocket since Saturn V, which took American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.