NASA’s new moon rocket has rescheduled its test flight after three scrapped launches.
- After three delays, NASA’s Artemis I and the Space Launch System (SLS) are scheduled for launch again on Monday, November 14, at 12:07 am EST.
- The SLS was rolled into storage for the duration of Hurricane Ian and had previously been delayed due to fuel leaks that threatened the launch.
- “Inspections and analyses over the previous week have confirmed minimal work is required to prepare the rocket and spacecraft to roll out to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the roll-back due to Hurricane Ian,” says NASA.
- NASA also requested launch windows on November 16 and November 19 in the event of another hindrance like weather conditions or a technical issue.
- The rocket could be rolled to the launch pad as early as November 4.
Why it’s important
There is a lot riding on the successful launch of the SLS, which is NASA’s first in-house rocket since the end of the space-shuttle program in 2011. The agency has been forced to rely on SpaceX launches and Russia’s Soyuz rockets to supply astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.
A successful launch is also important for Boeing as the company’s reputation as a leading space technology company is on the line. The test launch has already been bogged down by four years of delays, technical issues, and cost overruns. A successful launch would be redeeming for the company’s reputation.
“This first mission is five years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. More than $40 billion has already been spent on the Artemis program, much of that toward SLS and Orion’s development. The system comes with a per-launch price tag of $4.1 billion,” says CNBC.
Backing up a bit
As we previously reported, NASA attempted to launch its new unmanned moon rocket Artemis I and was delayed as a safety precaution. It was delayed a second time on September 2.
NASA has been playing the launch of its new moon rocket safe since August 29 when the much-anticipated launch was delayed by a technical issue. The rocket has spent the past two months being repaired or stored away from weather conditions.
The successful mission of Artemis I will pathe the way for subsequent missions to land astronauts on the moon as early as 2025—for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972.