Mission Delayed: Launch Loading

Everything needed to know about Artemis I mission and its scrubs

Parker Harms, Business Manager

Artemis I is the first step in NASA’s plan to send the first woman and person of color to the Moon’s surface. NASA wants to prove Orion can be launched into lunar orbit. The feat needs to be achieved before NASA can comfortably send astronauts on board.

Artemis I is also going to be the mission to not only lead us back to the Moon, but to Mars as well.

The launch has been scrubbed, or delayed, twice since Aug. 29. NASA does not plan to attempt launching within the current calendar period. 

Due to the amount of money NASA has put into this program (over $40 billion), they do not want to risk a major catastrophe. 

The Aug. 29 foil was due to a temperature abnormality in one of the four engines attached to the ship. The Sept. 3 foil was due to a hydrogen leak within the vessel.

Although the delay may be lengthy, NASA will wait until they have everything right.

The Space Launch System (SLS) is intended to be the most powerful rocket ever developed by the US space agency. The Artemis I mission is unmanned but is still meant to be revolutionary in the role of future human spacecraft travels. 

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated that “safety is the top of the list.” Nelson also stated that the teams have worked hard and long for this program and that the conclusion to wait is what they think is best.

“This was not a manageable leak,” Artemis mission manager Mike Sarafin said to Yahoo!News.

“It will blaze a trail that people will follow on the next Orion flight, pushing the edges of the envelope to prepare for that mission.”

The current launch window closes Sep. 6, but the next window opens Sep. 19 and goes until Oct. 4. After that, it becomes Oct. 17-31. 

The next launch has not yet been announced, but experts say that NASA will have a better plan within a few days. 

Although there is no day set for the Artemis I launch, let it be known that the 100m-tall ship will launch a human-rated pod, Orion, in range of the Moon. This will be the first since the ending of Project Apollo in 1972, half a century ago.