A striking image of the “Strawberry Supermoon” with the cropped silhouette of the Artemis I spacecraft, in Cape Canaveral. Photo: Reuters
NASA’s fourth attempt to complete a crucial test for the rocket it intends to send to the moon met about 90 percent of its targets, officials said Tuesday, but A launch date has not yet been set.
“I would say that we are about 90% of where we need to be overall”, head of the Artemis mission, Mike Saraffin.
This is the last test that the US agency will carry out before the Artemis I mission scheduled for this summer: a lunar flight without passengerswhich will be followed by a capsule this time carrying humans, but probably not until 2026.
NASA’s Artemis I rocket will be a passenger-free mission. Photo: AFP
Kennedy Space Center teams launched the test on Saturday with one goal: fill the tanks of the SLS rocket with liquid fuelstart a countdown for take-off and simulate the unexpected, then empty the tanks.
In the three previous attempts the problems multiplied and it was impossible to power the rocket with hundreds of thousands of gallons of supercooled liquid hydrogen and oxygen.
Engineers Monday finally they managed to fill the tanksbut they also faced a new problem of loss of hydrogen which they failed to resolve.
The complete installation of the Artemis I project, at night in Cape Canaveral. Photo: AFP
NASA wants to set up a permanent presence on the moon and use it as a test bed for the technologies needed for a mission to Mars in the 1930s.