NASA Artemis I SLS Rocket Passes Fueling Test Ahead of Planned September 27 Launch Date: Details

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NASA announced on Wednesday that it had successfully tested the fueling process for its new rocket, after technical concerns delayed two previous efforts to launch the monster towards the Moon.

Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, launch director for the Artemis 1 program, stated, "Today, we were able to meet all of our objectives."

The objective of the unmanned mission is to test the new 30-story SLS rocket and the unmanned Orion capsule that sits atop it, in preparation for future human missions to the Moon.

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The most recent attempt to launch NASA's most powerful rocket was abandoned in early September due to a leak that occurred when liquid hydrogen and oxygen were being injected into the rocket's tanks.

Wednesday's test consisted of re-filling those tanks after repairs were performed.

Despite the fact that a tiny hydrogen leak was identified during the test, NASA experts were able to contain it.

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NASA announced this week that it is now targeting September 27 as the next launch date. The second of October was designated as a backup date.

NASA stated, "Teams will analyze test data, as well as weather and other conditions, before confirming readiness for the next launch opportunity."

Blackwell-Thompson declined to comment on the date of the next launch attempt, but said she was "very pleased by today's test."

Officials in the United States are also keeping a careful eye on the path of Hurricane Fiona in the Atlantic Ocean.

NASA must obtain a waiver to avoid retesting the batteries on a detonation device intended to kill the rocket if it strays uncontrolled off course in order to meet the September 27 deadline.

The subsequent trip, Artemis 2, would send people to the Moon without landing on its surface, while the third, scheduled for the middle of the 2020s, would see the first woman and person of color set foot on lunar soil.

NASA intends to construct a Gateway lunar space station and maintain a permanent presence on the Moon in order to learn how to endure very lengthy space trips in preparation for a mission to Mars in the 2030s.


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