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Artemis I November Launch Dates Might Be Last Chance to Get Moon Program Going This Year

Because we live in a day and age when most of the stuff we make works like a charm from the first try, we kind of expected the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft to instantly kickstart humanity’s second Moon exploration program. But because this is rocket science we’re talking about, things didn’t go as planned.
SLS on the pad during first launch attempt 18 photos
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On August 29, NASA made the first attempt to get the uncrewed Artemis I mission off the ground, but failed. It gave it another go on in early September and failed again. In late September, hurricane Ian chased the rocket back into the (Vehicle Assembly Building). And now, we’re finally told there’s a new launch date scheduled.

As per NASA, Artemis I will attempt to launch on November 14. The launch window that day opens at 12:07 a.m. EST, and should stay like that for about 69 minutes.

The agency says the rocket seems to be in the right condition for rollout back to the pad, with only minimal work required. Damage has been detected to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system, so that needs to be taken care of. Additionally, batteries will need to be replaced or recharged.

The November 14 launch date is not the only one targeted by NASA. If anything should again go wrong, backup dates have been set for November 16 and November 19.

If those fail too, there are several possible launch windows in December as well. There are eleven of them, to be precise, occurring between December 9 and December 23, except on December 10, 14, 18, and 23.

Judging by how long it took NASA to fix previous SLS issues, a launch in December grows increasingly unlikely, possibly making the November launch dates the last chance to get Artemis off the ground this year.

 
 
 
 
 

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