Friday, September 30, 2022
Home LATEST NEWS NASA pushes toward moon rocket launch after fuel leak

NASA pushes toward moon rocket launch after fuel leak

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Staff Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida. (AP) — NASA pushed Monday to launch a rocket to the new moon to put a manned capsule into lunar orbit for the first time in 50 years, after a leak resurfaced at the same location that leaked during a dress rehearsal at spring. .

As the precious minutes of the countdown ticked by, launch controllers repeatedly halted the refueling operation, already running nearly an hour behind schedule due to thunderstorms off the coast of Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

NASA Deputy Launch Director Jeremy Graeber said controllers were eventually able to reduce the leak to a safe and acceptable level, where it remained stable as nearly 1 million gallons of supercold fuel filled the rocket’s core stage tanks. .

Graeber said NASA still has a chance to launch Monday morning, but won’t target a new liftoff time until the 10-minute wait in the countdown when managers conduct the “go or no-go” survey.

political cartoons

“We have a lot of work to do to get to that point,” Graeber warned.

The 98-meter (322-foot) rocket is the most powerful ever built by NASA, surpassing even the Saturn V used by the Apollo program that carried astronauts to the moon half a century ago.

There were no astronauts inside the Orion capsule. Instead, three test dummies were strapped in for the lunar orbit mission, which is expected to last six weeks.

Even though no one was on board, thousands of people packed the shoreline to watch the Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket fly off. Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Orlando with her husband, but she had not yet made the hour-long drive to Cape Canaveral for the planned takeoff.

If Monday’s launch can’t proceed, the next launch attempt won’t be until Friday at the earliest.

A dangerous hydrogen fuel leak messed up NASA’s countdown test in April, prompting a slew of repairs. The demo was repeated with more success in June, but that too saw some leaks. Managers had said they wouldn’t know for sure whether the repairs were good until they tried to load the rocket’s tanks on Monday.

The problem was reminiscent of NASA’s space shuttle era, when hydrogen fuel leaks disrupted countdowns and delayed a series of launches in 1990.

Launch manager Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and her team also had to deal with a communication problem related to the Orion capsule.

Engineers were quick to understand an 11-minute delay in communication lines between Launch Control and Orion that surfaced Sunday night. Although the issue was fixed Monday morning, NASA needed to know why it happened before committing to a launch.

This first flight of NASA’s 21st-century lunar exploration program, named Artemis after Apollo’s mythological twin sister, is years behind schedule. Repeated delays have led to billions in budget overruns; This demo alone costs $4.1 billion.

Assuming the test goes well, the astronauts would climb aboard for the second flight and fly around the moon and return as soon as 2024. A two-person lunar landing could follow in late 2025. NASA is targeting the south pole of the moon.

During Apollo, 12 astronauts landed on the moon from 1969 to 1972, with stays of no more than a few days. NASA is looking to set up a lunar base during Artemis, with astronauts coming and going for weeks. The next step would be Mars, possibly in the late 2030s or early 2040s.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

RELATED ARTICLES

Former PG&E executives to pay $117 million to settle wildfire lawsuit

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former executives and directors of Pacific Gas & Electric have agreed to pay $117 million to settle a lawsuit...

Hurricane Ian threatens South Carolina after sweeping through Florida

Hurricane Ian Threatens South Carolina After Devastating Florida - CBS News ...

What really went wrong in Britain

Everyone needs a scapegoat in an economic crisis, and much of the world has decided to blame the British prime minister. liz truss

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

The chairman of the Indiana GOP criticizes the White House for spinning the ‘Where’s Jackie?’ Biden gawk

The head of the Indiana Republican Party said Thursday that President Biden's comments in which he seemed to forget about the death of a...

Ginni Thomas Said Jan 6 Committee Election Was Stolen, Says Chairman Bennie Thompson

Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, reiterated her belief that the 2020 election was stolen during her interview Thursday...

Oleg Deripaska, Russian oligarch, accused of sanctions

Months after Mr. Deripaska filed the lawsuit, one of his employees in the United States in recent years, a naturalized American citizen named Olga...

FEMA chief ‘adds a human touch’ to Hurricane Ian response

WASHINGTON — In the past 10 days, Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has logged 13,000 miles in air travel, flying...