October Launch Date For Artemis 1 Due To SLS Fuel Leak

Sep, 2022 - By SMI

October Launch Date For Artemis 1 Due To SLS Fuel Leak

Unlikely to fly in September is NASA's next-generation Space Launch System though there had been some hope that Artemis 1 may launch before its present launch window concluded on September 6th, but that expectation was dashed when the agency was forced to abort its second attempt, hopefully it won't be like that anymore.

Jim Free, NASA's assistant administrator for exploration systems development, informed a roomful of reporters following the events of Saturday morning, "We will not be launching in this launch period." The "fast disconnect" fitting that caused NASA so much problems yesterday, according to Artemis Mission Manager Michael Sarafin, "was not a controllable leak." Three times the ground staff at Kennedy Space Center tried to diagnose the problem before advising against continuing with Saturday's launch.

Sarafin claims that the leak started as a result of a short and "inadvertent" overpressurization in one of the fuel lines leading to Artemis 1's core rocket. The event was brought on by an "errant" manual directive from Mission Control. There was enough combustible hydrogen gas close to the rocket it would not have been possible to launch, according to Sarafin, who stated on Saturday that it was still too early to determine whether it was the source of the fuel spill. As he said, "Correlation does not imply causation, so we want to be methodical and cautious about taking inferences here.

NASA now wanted to upgrade the non-metallic gasket that has been meant to keep hydrogen from leaking at the fast connection due to the leak, whatever the source may have been. There are two ways the agency may move forward. It might swap out the gasket at KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building or Launch Pad 39B. Both have benefits and drawbacks.

NASA would be able to test the system at cryogenic temperatures if the work were done on the pad.

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