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Artemis I is Probably Go for Launch Tomorrow, NASA Press Conference Details
All eyes at the Kennedy Space Center were focused on the Kennedy Space Center news auditorium the day before Artemis I's second launch attempt in five days. After a disappointing launch scrub the first time around on August 29th, the media and public alike are eager for more answers.

Artemis I is Probably Go for Launch Tomorrow, NASA Press Conference Details

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As of Friday, September 2nd, 2022, the second launch attempt will occur tomorrow, September 3rd, between 2:17 and 4:17 PM. To mark the occasion, NASA held a pre-launch media briefing to give the run-down of what's imminently about to take place. On hand this morning were the host, Megan Cruz, Jeremy Parsons, Dept Manager of Explorations at the Kennedy Space Center, and Melody Lovin, Weather Officer for the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron.

A series of mechanical anomalies were responsible for the first scrubbed launch attempt on Monday. The first signs of trouble came during the cryogenic tanking procedure, which fills the rocket with its liquid propellant and oxidizer. Thunder and lightning strikes were reported early in the morning, delaying fueling and making the chances of launching within the two-hour window dubious at best.

This was followed by reports of a hydrogen propellant leak between the rocket and one of its umbilical ground connections, which delayed proceedings even further. The final nail on the day's launch attempt came when a hydrogen bleed test on the third RS-25 core-stage engine failed to yield expected results, potentially because of a faulty thermal sensor. NASA personnel were unable to solve the problem in time.

After a week fraught with difficulties regarding the issue inside the SLS rocket's third main engine, NASA engineers appear confident that trouble related to engine thermal data readings in that engine has been remedied. Enough so for the initially determined launch window to proceed as planned as we slowly creep past the T-minus 24-hour mark.


On the weather side of things, Melody Lovin issued a statement on behalf of the 45th Weather Squadron detailing that weather conditions are currently hovering around the 60 percent range for a go on the launch, changing from a 60 percent change for a no go predicted only a few days ago. Lovin made it clear that weather conditions that may A, make the rocket fly into a thunderstorm, or B, trigger a lightning strike are not ones in which the SLS will launch.


Preliminary reports from U.S. Space Force weather balloons indicate the further we go into Saturday's launch window. The more favorable weather conditions will become. Meaning that a 60-percent go-for-launch figure could improve to as high as 80 percent towards the tail end. NASA and Space Force weather personnel will be monitoring conditions from now until just after launch, checking for the formation of new rain storm symptoms and cumulous rain cloud activities that may jeopardize the launch window.

With these factors in mind, a successful launch occurring tomorrow is not assured by any means, but one can't help but think that, at least compared to this past Monday's launch attempt, prospects are looking far more favorable for things going in NASA's favor this time around. But in the event this isn't the case, current plans call for yet another attempt to be undertaken two days later on the following Monday, exactly a week after the first launch scrub.

Though the scrub on the 29th undoubtedly stung quite a bit for NASA engineering personnel, members of the media, and average civilians who turned out to Cape Canaveral that morning. But remember, manned space missions of years gone by have been scrubbed as many as five times before they finally launch.

Having one take place on a brand new rocket lifting off for the very first time shouldn't come as much of a surprise. If anything, lifting off after just one scrub is, surprisingly enough, pretty gosh darn impressive. If all goes according to plans, it will begin the start of a new age of space exploration.

Check back soon for more live coverage from here at Kennedy Space Center for the launch of Artemis I here on autoevolution.

 
 
 
 
 

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