The launch of the Artemis I mission and the first NASA SLS flight to the Moon have always been postponed

Despite the delays and costs, it seemed that now the large NASA SLS rocket (Space Launch System) for the Mission Artemis I directed to the moon was in preparation for launch. After having given up on the possibility of a launch for November 2021, we have moved on to hoping for the departure of the first unmanned mission for February 2022 (between the 12th and the 27th). Even this hypothesis is now archived.

nasa sls

According to the latest official news released by the US space agency, there will be a further postponement of the launch for a few months to allow the replacement of a fundamental component. Currently, however, the launch is scheduled for 2022 as well to avoid further complicating the situation.

NASA SLS and Artemis I: launch now scheduled between March and April

The latest information has arrived A press release where the situation is composed of NASA SLS And Artemis I. Currently, the rocket (which has the Orion spacecraft on top) is located inside the large building called VAB or Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center.

Tests that began immediately after the booster, midstage, upper stage and nacelle were assembled led to the detection of a problem with one of the booster’s controllers. RS-25 motors. As explained “the flight controller acts as the brain of each RS-25 engine, communicating with the SLS rocket to provide precise engine control and internal diagnostics”. Each of these controllers (four are RS-25 motors) has two channels to provide backup communication in the event of a failure. According to testing, channel B (secondary) of a controller did not power up properly.

nasa sls

This is a new issue as this same controller, in previous tests performed on NASA SLS, had performed as expected, even passing the Green Run test with all four motors operating at maximum power for the established duration. The only solution currently considered is to replace the controller.

Meanwhile, tests on NASA SLS will continue (for other components) while technicians begin procedures to replace the faulty component. However, this will push the February launch date back to March or April (if there are no other issues). One issue is with solid fuel side boosters. These have a use-by date after which they may no longer work properly. This date has passed. By mid-2022 they should still be reliable enough, while if this delays further further testing will be required to ensure functionality.

Gift ideas, why waste time and risk making mistakes?