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NASA Artemis I: Fuel seals repaired, likely to launch moon rocket on Sep 23

NASA had to scrub two launch attempts as the rocket experienced technical glitches, including a fuel leak

NASA moon mission | NASA | moon mission

BS Web Team 

NASA moon rocket
NASA moon rocket (Photo: Bloomberg)

The National and Administration (NASA) has replaced the seals on the Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage, associated with the liquid hydrogen leak detected during the Artemis I launch attempt on September 3, said the agency in a blog post.

On its second attempt earlier in September, one of the lines to the SLS was leaking, leading to halt the launch of Artemis I SLS-orion spacecraft, just 40 minutes before the rocket was set to take off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The space agency now is looking for another attempt at sending its Artemis I rocket on September 23.

According to the US space agency, both the 8-inch line used to fill and drain liquid hydrogen from the core stage and the 4-inch bleed line used to redirect some of the propellant during tanking operations were removed and replaced by engineers last week.

The umbilical plates were reconnected and inspections were performed by technicians over the weekend, while a tanking demonstration is being prepared for as early as September 17, it added. This demonstration will allow engineers to check the new seals under cryogenic, or supercold, conditions as expected on launch day and before proceeding to the next launch attempt, said .

The space agency had to scrub two launch attempts as the rocket experienced technical glitches, including a leak.

NASA wants to send the crew capsule atop the rocket around the moon, pushing it to the limit before astronauts get on the next flight. If the five-week demo with test dummies succeeds, astronauts could fly around the in 2024 and land on it in 2025.

The $4.1 billion test flight is the first step in NASA's Artemis programme of renewed lunar exploration, named after the twin sister of in mythology. Twelve astronauts walked on the during NASA's programme, the last time in 1972.

Artemis years behind schedule and billions over budget aims to establish a sustained human presence on the moon, with crews eventually spending weeks at a time there. It's considered a training ground for .

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First Published: Mon, September 12 2022. 17:23 IST