NASA Pushes Artemis I Launch Date to September 27, Still Hoping for a 2022 Launch

NASA pushes Artemis I launch dates some more 9 photos
Photo: NASA
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If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the Artemis I mission to the Moon not happening this year. In doing so, I’d also hope to lose, because nothing would make me happier than to see the SLS lift Orion and send it on its way around the Moon.
After the failed launch attempts at the end of August, NASA was targeting a September 23 first try, with a backup date of September 27. Now, that has changed too, as the space agency pushed the dates back some more.

As it stands now, Artemis I will launch on September 27. If it fails to do so, NASA could give it another go on October 2. Before all that, on September 21, the rocket will undergo a cryogenic demonstration.

“The updated dates represent careful consideration of multiple logistical topics, including the additional value of having more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test, and subsequently more time to prepare for the launch,” the space agency said in a statement. “The dates also allow managers to ensure teams have enough rest and to replenish supplies of cryogenic propellants.”

The October launch date kind of comes into conflict with the planned departure on October 3 of the Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on board a SpaceX Crew Dragon, so further changes might be announced for one or both missions in the coming weeks.

The infamous hydrogen leak that stopped all plans to launch Artemis I is allegedly fixed, and tests will now be conducted to see if the problem still persists. During the upcoming cryogenic demonstration on September 21, supercold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen will flow into the core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage, as a means to confirm the fix holds.

Once that is out of the way, NASA can start thinking about the launch, but, most importantly, about whether the fix for the RS-25 engine that stopped the first launch attempt works as well. But we won't know that until the very last moment.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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