Announced a new launch date for the Artemis I mission

NASA has chosen November 16 as the new launch date for the Artemis I mission. Within its framework, the superheavy SLS rocket will send the Orion spacecraft to the Moon.

The SLS is NASA’s largest rocket since the Apollo program. The height of its basic modification (Block 1 version) is 98 meters. The carrier consists of two solid-fuel side boosters and two stages. In its current configuration, it can launch 95 tons of cargo into low Earth orbit (LEO) and up to 27 tons of cargo on a flight path to the Moon.

The main objective of the Artemis I mission is the comprehensive testing of all SLS and Orion systems. The success of the test will pave the way for manned flights, during which four astronauts will fly around the Moon (Artemis II mission), and then land at the South Pole of the moon (Artemis III mission). 

Initially, the launch of the SLS was supposed to take place at the end of August. But it was postponed several times — first because of engine problems, and then because of a fuel leak. And after the engineers fixed the malfunctions, Hurricane Ian hit Florida. As a result, the SLS had to be returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

The SLS rocket is on the launch pad. Source: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

According to NASA representatives, an inspection of the SLS showed that it had not received any damage and its preparation for a new launch attempt would require minimal effort. The organization plans to return the SLS to the launch pad on November 4 and launch the rocket on November 14. The spare launch window will be opened on November 16.

Curiously, another lunar launch is scheduled to take place from Cape Canaveral on the same days. The Falcon 9 rocket will have to send the Japanese HAKUTO-R spacecraft to the moon, with the first Arab rover Rashid. Its launch should take place in the period from 9 to 15 November. 

According to

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