NASA’s SLS megarocket fails again in critical test and its trip to the Moon continues to be delayed

Bad news for plans The NASA and the dream of returning man to the Moon. The Space Launch System (SLS) mega rocket has failed again for the third time in a critical test.

According to what was reported on the website of Xatakathe SLS has stalled in a critical essay that consists of filling the fuel tanks and doing a launch sequence.

After three failed attempts, the US space agency is confident that this time it will be able to overcome this test that has delayed the expected launch of the mission Artemis 1which has the goal of returning humans to the Moon.

With Artemis, the agency seeks to bring American astronauts to our natural satellite for the first time in more than 50 years. The SLS is key to that, plus they need the rocket to build the Lunar Gateway, a small space station in orbit around the Moon.

In addition, NASA intends to use the megarocket to enable future manned trips to Mars. That and other missions are becoming more complicated in the future due to the cost overruns and delays that the SLS program has suffered.

This Saturday, June 18, the SLS rocket and the Orón capsule will begin ‘wet dress rehearsal’, from launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to a report from spacenews.com.

What does the general wet test consist of?

The wet dress rehearsal will last two days and involves a large number of engineers and technicians in various locations on the launch pad.

The Kennedy Space Center Launch Control Center team will interface with the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center (Houston), Space Force East Field and the SLS Engineering Support Center (Alabama).

Once the countdown is running, fueling will startfollowing the same schedule that will be used on the day of the launch of Artemis I. At the same time, the controllers will test the different systems of the Orion rocket and spacecraft.

The objective of the test is to test all phases of the launch, including weather reports, planned holding, conditioning, and refueling.

The general wet test includes stop the countdown 10 seconds before the simulated launch moment, that is, moments before the engines start. This test is of great importance because the flight director could decide not to proceed with an actual launch if a technical or weather problem arises.

Technically, NASA managed to complete some test objectives in previous attempts, but only managed to load 49 percent of the core-stage liquid oxygen fuel tank and 5 percent of the liquid hydrogen tank. This was due to a problem with a faulty check valve in the rocket’s upper stage and a hydrogen leak in the tail service mast.

If all goes well, the rocket and capsule will return to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). There, the technicians will remove a series of sensors included specifically for the test and that are not necessary for the real mission and will carry out the final checks.

The next release window is between June 26 and August 10, period in which the SLS could take off, but experts like NASA associate administrator Jim Free believe it is too early. the next window starts on August 23 and ends on September 6.

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