NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission will be postponed to March 2022 – archyde

Washington, 21. Dezember (IANS): After a problem with the engine, NASA’s Artemis 1 unmanned lunar mission was postponed to March next year, the US space agency announced.

Artemis I is an unmanned flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft around the moon. It was originally scheduled to launch in February 2022, before missions involving astronauts were conducted.

NASA is now aiming for a launch in March or April 2022, the space agency said in a statement.

During a recent performance test at the core stage, engineers identified a problem with one of the RS-25 engine flight controllers.

The flight controller acts as the “brain” for each RS-25 engine and communicates with the SLS missile for precise engine control and internal health diagnostics. Each controller is equipped with two channels, so there is a backup in case there should be a problem with one of the channels during the launch or ascent. In the last tests, channel B of the controller of motor four could not be started continuously.

“After a series of inspections and fixes, the engineers determined that the best course of action is to replace the engine controls, restore the rocket to full functionality and redundancy, while continuing to investigate and identify the cause,” NASA officials said in the statement.

“NASA is developing a plan and updated schedule to replace the engine controls while integrated testing and launch capabilities review continues in March and April.”

Additionally, the agency said the end-to-end communication tests are underway and the countdown sequence tests will begin as early as next week to demonstrate all of the SLS and Orion communication systems with the ground infrastructure and launch control center.

SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world and is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts and supplies to the moon in a single mission.

With the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon and establish a long-term exploration in preparation for missions to Mars. SLS and Orion, along with the commercial human landing system and the gateway that will orbit the moon, form NASA’s backbone for space exploration.

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