NASA sets new date for Moon launch — Analysis
After a major engine failure was discovered just prior to launch, the US space agency had to change its schedule.
NASA has announced a new launch day for its Artemis mission to the moon. It hopes to lift its rocket into orbit on Saturday following a failed attempt earlier in this week. Mike Sarafin was the manager for the moon mission and announced the new date in a Tuesday press release. Sarafin said the Artemis team had met earlier that day to set the next launch.
“We are going to reconvene the mission management team on Thursday, September the 1st, to review our flight rationale and our overall readiness,”Sarafin added “We also agreed to do some work at the pad to address the leak that we saw and we also agreed to move our launch date to Saturday, September the 3rd.”
Space Force Weather Launch Officer Mark Burger, however, warned that the launch day for Saturday has been chosen by NASA.
“The probability of weather violation at any point in the countdown still looks to me rather high,”At the same briefing, he stated that there was a 60% chance of bad weather preventing the launch. “I still think we have a pretty good opportunity.”
While the Artemis mission was originally meant to lift off on Monday, a major issue with one of the rocket’s four liquid fuel engines was detected just hours before launch, forcing a delay to allow NASA technicians to resolve the malfunction.
The rocket, the largest ever constructed by NASA, will be uncrewed for the mission, and will orbit the moon for more than a month, collecting valuable data on Earth’s sole natural satellite. If successful, the mission will be followed by Artemis II, a manned flight to the moon, NASA’s first since the 1970s.