CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s Artemis 1 mission will try to send it to the moon again after all.
Mission managers were on Monday (Nov. 14) to run up flight readiness for Artemis 1’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft following minor damage from Hurricane Nicole, which was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm after being towed away. on Thursday (Nov. 10). Despite the fact that Orion’s insulating caulking was damaged by high winds during the storm’s fall, Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager at NASA headquarters in Washington, said “there has been no change in our plan to try to launch on the 16th.” media conference call today (Nov. 14).
“The unanimous recommendation for the theater was that we were in a good position to go ahead and proceed with the launch countdown,” added Jeremy Parsons, deputy manager of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems program at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. If all goes according to plan in the approach breach checks and cryogenic process on Tuesday (Nov. 15), the Artemis 1 mission will launch from Launch Pad 39B at 1:04 am EST (0604 GMT) on Nov. 16. look at the ugly, finally Watch Diana 1 live online here on Space.com courtesy of NASA.
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One of the main areas of concern was the stripping of the insulating caulking known as RTV that extends for a short distance on the exterior of the Orion spacecraft. High winds during Hurricane Nicole exposed a 10-foot (3-meter) section of Orion’s RTV deposit. After the damage was discovered, there were concerns that the missing cowlings could create an unwanted flow that could overheat during launch and flight. After examining the problem and performing a complex analysis, the Artemis 1 mission managers feel that the vehicle is still fugitive.
“We looked through the entire vehicle stack from the Orion spacecraft down to the base of the stack and agreed that the risk is limited by the current crisis and the risk of reporting that we have there,” Sarafin told reporters.
“That said, if we have an event that comes up, to meet us one of our no-go criteria, it’s not our day,” added Sarafin.
Still, Parsons added that, although there is still time for mission managers to uncover issues that could hinder launch efforts on Wednesday (Nov. 16), he has a lot to be proud of in terms of how Artemis 1 crews have continued to do so. far through many difficulties the mission s.
“And let me tell you, the team is firing on all cylinders at this point, and so I couldn’t be more proud. Because I think if you asked me a few weeks ago, we would go through a storm like Hurricane Nicole and then be able to turn around and clean the vehicle and be in good shape. I’d say hey, the chances are probably low. But this team was really just firing on all cylinders,” Parsons said.
Artemis 1 will see the unmanned Orion spacecraft launch aboard the SLS vehicle into lunar orbit. The mission’s goal is to lay the groundwork for future Artemis missions that will see humans return to the moon, with the goal of establishing a sustainable human presence there.
Artemis 2 will see a human crew placed in orbit around the moon no earlier than 2023, while Artemis 3, launched in 2024 or 2025, will see astronauts leave the clubs on the lunar surface once again.
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