Sep, 2022 - By SMI
In the event that nothing goes wrong, NASA's enormous Space Launch System rocket will finally lift off, sending the Orion spacecraft to the Moon and back.
As soon as Tuesday, August 16, at 9 p.m. ET, NASA intends to roll the rocket to Launch Pad 39B as a result of how smoothly its last pre-launch preparations for the Artemis I mission are proceeding (01:00 UTC Wednesday). This is two days earlier than the originally scheduled launch date.
This early launch date for the rocket comes after the weekend's successful testing of the flight termination mechanism. The launch system and spacecraft underwent their final significant test prior to rollout, and this signifies the end of all significant pre-launch activities. NASA is still planning to try the launch of Artemis I on August 29, September 2, and September 5.
A standalone part of the rocket is the flight termination system. If a problem arises during launch, ground-based controllers can instruct the flight termination system to detonate the rocket before it veers off course and endangers a populated region.
This termination system includes a separate power source that is only intended to last for around three weeks because it is not a part of the rocket. The US Space Force, which manages Kennedy Space Center and the Eastern Range, set this upper limit. One of NASA's suggested launch dates, September 5, fell outside of this authorized range, which is an issue.
But according to NASA, the Space Launch Delta 45 has given them a 20 to a 25-day extension to validate the flight termination system before it needs to be retested. As per NASA, the waiver will remain in effect during the Artemis I launch attempts. The rocket will also have to be rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for repair on the flight termination system if the mission ends to fly on one of these three trials.
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