A leak of liquid hydrogen has caused the NASA rocket to go to the repair shop.
NASA ‘s moon -bound test rocket returns to its construction hangar for repairs next week, pushing the earliest launch date for an unmanned mission to late summer.
Since April 1, NASA has been trying unsuccessfully to complete a dress rehearsal of the launch, including propellant fuel loading and a countdown to the last 10 seconds before liftoff and no engines firing.
NASA rocket failure
However, the NASA team has found several technical problems, including a leak of liquid hydrogen.
A faulty valve prevented top-filling by preventing the supply of nitrogen used to purge oxygen from the rocket prior to tanking, for safety reasons.
The 98-meter-tall rocket with the Orion capsule at its tip will begin its slow return from Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B to the Vehicle Assembly Building on April 26, where it will be repaired.
Asked about the launch date for the unmanned Artemis-1 mission , Senior Officer Tom Whitmeyer said “the early June window would be a challenge.”
NASA had considered a flight test for May and there are windows of opportunity for launch in July and August. But taking advantage of them depends on various factors such as the relative positions of the Earth and the Moon , and also the time that the rocket has to fly in an eclipse, since it requires sunlight to remain thermally regulated.
The Artemis-1 delay will have a cascading effect on subsequent missions, Artemis-2 , the first unmanned flight around the Moon, and Artemis-3 , which will see the first woman and first person of color land on the South Pole. mole.
NASA wants to build a permanent presence on the Moon and use it as a testing ground for technologies needed for a mission to Mars , projected after 2030.