NASA has now confirmed its launch dates after a successful dress rehearsal for the Artemis-1 moon-rocket in June. Space flight must take place between August and September.
NASA had long ago established a lofty launch target for the Artemis 1 lunar mission. It plans to launch in the late summer if all testing goes well. NASA is likely to meet its original target for the SLS rocket launch despite the smooth tests failing. The “Wet Dress Rehearsal”, or dress rehearsal, was completed successfully on June 20. Now the journey to the Moon begins “punctually”.
Confirmed start window
In an Interview with ArsTechnica Jim Free stated that NASA’s deputy administrator for the exploration system development program indicated that they are working to launch Artemis 1 between Aug. 23 and Sept. 6. Free stated that this is the goal they are aiming for. It would be foolish not to work towards that goal now. “We made amazing progress last week.” NASA says that although the September 1, 30, 31 and August 30 dates are not likely to be suitable due to weather conditions, there are 12 other good options. This date selection is not the only possible departure window.
An older NASA publication states that Artemis 1 was originally planned for the time period between July 26th and August 10. NASA chose the second window for Artemis 1. It is unknown why. There is speculation that repairs and associated tests take too much time. However, this is not confirmed.
Technicians must make final preparations for the SLS rocket before flight can start. This includes replacing the seal that let out hydrogen during test on June 20. NASA returned the SLS to the Kennedy Space Center hangar a few days back. There, employees will continue work on the rocket vehicle. Artemis 1 is accompanied by an unmanned Orion module for a trip around the moon. Artemis 2 will soon have four astronauts aboard.