NASA is set to make its second attempt to launch the Artemis I rocket on Saturday, September 3, 2022 at 2:17pm Florida time. For India, this means around 11.47 pm. The launch will be the second attempt at the mission, after the initial launch attempt on August 29 had to be called off due to technical issues including a problem with one of the rocket’s four main engines.
Mission Manager Michael Sarafin said during a briefing in Florida on Thursday that “there’s no guarantee that we’re going to get off on Saturday, but we’re going to try.” Weather during the launch is expected to be favourable, with a 60 per cent chance that conditions with permit the launch to go through.
NASA’s critical Artemis 1 launch, which is part of a broader mission to put humans back on the moon. You can watch the launch event live using the embedded link below.
There won’t be any humans on NASA’s big trip, but there will be three astronauts: Helga, Zohar, and Moonikin Campos. They’re high-tech manikins — that’s the term for human models used in scientific research — filled with sensors that will test how the human body responds to space travel. Helga and Zohar are designed to measure the effects of radiation on women’s bodies in space, and Moonikin Campos will sit in the commander’s seat to track just how bumpy a voyage to the moon might be for future human crew members.
Artemis I rocket to reach 161km in 8 minutes on launch. The Artemis I rocket will be covering a total distance of 2.1 million kilometers through its mission, but it will be reaching the outer layers of the Earth's atmosphere, about 161km from the surface in just 8 minutes. The rocket will be buring through 90,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and oxygen each minute during this stage, after which the core stage of the rocket will fall off into the Pacific Ocean.
After technical issues halted its first launch attempt, the US space agency will try again to launch its next-generation moon rocket.
Mission managers at Kennedy Space Center in Florida were still "go" on Saturday to try again to launch NASA's most powerful ever rocket. If the massive Space Launch System (SLS) lifts off successfully, it will mark the first of the US space agency's Artemis program plotting a return to the Moon.
"Our team is ready," said Jeremy Parsons, deputy manager of exploration ground systems at Kennedy Space Center. Technicians have fixed a leaky fuel line that contributed to Monday's canceled launch.
"They are getting better with every attempt and actually performed superbly during launch countdown number one... I think if the conditions with weather and the hardware align, we'll absolutely go."
A faulty engine temperature sensor and some cracks in insulation foam have also been repaired. There will be no crew aboard the Artemis 1 with the mission testing whether the Orion capsule, which sits atop the SLS rocket, is safe to carry astronauts in the future. Yet, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather on beaches nearby to witness the NASA sending its most powerful rocket ever into space.
Artemis' uncrewed Orion spacecraft will perform one or two orbits of the moon before returning to Earth
Back to the moon
The long-awaited launch would kick off NASA's moon-to-Mars Artemis program — the agency's first major lunar expedition since the Apollo program of the 1960s and '70s. It will take several days for the Orion spacecraft to reach the Moon with the entire trip expected to last six weeks.
At least six of those days will be spent in a distant orbit of the moon, flying around 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the celestial body at its closest approach.
The plan is that Orion would be returning to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean in October. One of the mission's main objectives is to test the Orion capsule's heat shield, which is the largest ever built at 16 feet in diameter.
On its return to Earth's atmosphere, the heat shield will have to withstand speeds of 25,000 miles per hour and a temperature of about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius), roughly half as hot as the Sun.
Artemis is named after the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo, after whom the first Moon missions were named.