NASA: Moon rocket launch in trouble again

NASA’s new moon rocket developed more fuel leaks during a test on September 21 ahead of a possible launch attempt the following week, but engineers were able to reduce them to acceptable levels.

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When launched, the crew capsule above the rocket will be the first to orbit the Moon in fifty years. The $4.1 billion mission must be deployed in the Pacific Ocean over five weeks later. In 2024, humans will board the second test flight and orbit the moon quickly. Two astronauts will actually set foot on the moon during the third mission, which is planned for 2025.

The first two launches, as well as the previous countdown test, were unsuccessful due to a hydrogen leak. NASA’s limit more than doubled when hydrogen escaped during the countdown earlier this month. Wednesday’s leak almost reached that level again.

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The day-long demonstration did not begin when dangerous hydrogen fuel began escaping in the same location and at the same time as before, despite new seals and other repairs. In an effort to fix the leak, engineers turned off the flow, heated up the lines, and then ran the test. But the leak remained before it fell to a tolerable level. Several hours later, a new leak appeared elsewhere.

There was no immediate information on whether NASA would attempt the September 27 launch due to the unpredictable nature of the hydrogen leaks, which troubled the launch team for months. According to Derrol Nail of Launch Control, the latter problem has left many people confused.

Read also: NASA’s Moon Mission Begins Today: Everything You Need to Know

According to Nail, all test goals were achieved. However, before the 98-meter rocket can launch on its first test flight, a mission that orbits the moon using mannequins instead of astronauts, managers must evaluate the results.

NASA eventually succeeded in installing nearly four million gallons of fuel into the rocket after hours of crunching and starting. It was not clear if the previous streamer would cancel Tuesday’s launch attempt. Separately, NASA is still waiting for the US Space Force to extend certification of on-board batteries that are a critical component of the flight safety system.

After a launch delay on September 3, NASA replaced two of the seals in the leaky line. One of the seals had a small gap; Its measurement was just one hundredth of an inch. Although that doesn’t sound like much, mission manager Mike Sarafin explained it had to do with hydrogen, the lightest element in the periodic chart.

(with agency input)

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