Washington, December 21: After encountering a problem with the engine, NASA’s unmanned Artemis 1 lunar mission has been postponed until March of next year, the US space agency said. Artemis I is an unmanned flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft around the moon. Its launch was initially scheduled for February 2022 before missions with astronauts.
NASA is now targeting a launch in March or April 2022, the space agency said in a statement. In a recent mid-stage power test, engineers identified a problem with one of the RS-25 engine’s flight controllers. NASA calls the lunar mission “Artemis” in 2024 and is asking for $ 1.6 billion.
The flight controller functions as the “brain” of each RS-25 engine, communicating with the SLS rocket to provide precise engine control as well as internal health diagnostics. Each controller is equipped with two channels so that there is a backup, if there is a problem with one of the channels while launching or climbing. In recent testing, channel B of the motor four controller failed to light up consistently.
“After performing a series of inspections and troubleshooting, the engineers determined that the best solution is to replace the motor controller, giving the rocket full functionality and redundancy while continuing to investigate and identify a cause. deep, “NASA officials said in the statement.
“NASA is developing an updated plan and schedule to replace the motor controller while continuing with integrated testing and reviewing launch opportunities in March and April.”
Additionally, the agency said end-to-end communication testing is underway and countdown sequence testing will begin as early as next week to demonstrate all SLS and Orion communication systems with the infrastructure at the ground and the launch control center. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world and the only rocket capable of sending Orion, astronauts and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.
With the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon and establish long-term exploration in preparation for the missions to Mars. SLS and Orion, along with the commercial human landing system and the gateway that will orbit the moon, are NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on December 21, 2021 at 8:19 p.m. IST. For more info and updates on Politics, World, Sports, Entertainment, and Fashion life, connect to our website Latestly.com).