NASA plans September 27 launch of Artemis 1 Moon mission

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NASA plans to launch the Artemis 1 mission no earlier than Tuesday, September 27. This date is tentative, pending

If all goes as planned, NASA’s Artemis 1 mission will launch the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft on September 47. (Image credit: NASA/Twitter)

After two failed attempts, NASA is targeting a Sept. 27 launch date for its Artemis I mission. The space agency is also looking at a potential backup launch window option for Oct. 2. On September 27, the launch window opens at 11:37 a.m. EDT (9:07 p.m. IST).

Ahead of the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the first Orion spacecraft, NASA plans to perform cryogenic demonstration tests no earlier than September 21. These updated dates were chosen after the space agency considered the complex logistics of the mission, including the added value of having more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test.

The October 2 backup launch window is under review as NASA and SpaceX plan to launch the Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station on October 3. The space agency and private space company owned by Elon Musk are reviewing pre-launch stages. for the mission to monitor any potential impact.

The mission’s second launch attempt had to be canceled due to a hydrogen leak. The Artemis I teams completed repair work on this leak over the weekend and reconnected the liquid hydrogen supply line. Then they will perform tests under ambient conditions to first ensure that there is a tight connection between the two plates of the feedline before testing it again under cryogenic conditions.

Launch controllers will load liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into SLS’s main stage and cryogenic propulsion intermediate stage (ICPS) during the demonstration. Engineering teams will evaluate the demonstration to confirm that the hydrogen leak has been repaired. They will also evaluate updated propellant loading procedures that have been designed to reduce thermal stresses and pressure related stresses on the system.

But NASA’s Remote Flight Safety Program is processing the space agency’s request to expand the current testing requirement for the Flight Termination System (FTS). NASA’s tentative Sept. 27 launch date is dependent on the program’s approval of this request. If the request is not granted, the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft may need to be taken back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for testing and maintenance.

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