CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WHNT) – NASA officials provided an update about ongoing preparations for the launch of the first Artemis mission.
Wednesday morning, on the 53rd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepping foot on the moon for the first time, NASA held a teleconference about the launch date of the new moon rocket, the Space Launch System.
Associate Administrator Jim Free said that they are holding the launch range for an Aug. 29, Sept. 2 or Sept. 5 launch. He added the exact launch date will be determined based on several factors including how long repairs and preparations take as well as what the weather looks like come launch time.
The upcoming launch window opens on Monday, August 22 and closes on September 6 for the first flight, Artemis I. There is a 3-day cut-out period from Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 because of a solar eclipse when the mission cannot launch.
If NASA is ready on Aug. 29 Artemis I will launch sometime between 7:33 a.m. and 9:33 a.m. for a 42-day mission with Orion returning on October 10.
On September 2 the launch window is open from 11:48 a.m. to 1:48 p.m. for a 39-day mission. Orion will return on Oct. 11.
On September 5 the launch is scheduled between 4:12 p.m. and 5:43 p.m. with a return scheduled for Oct. 17.
The SLS is inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center having repairs made to a component called a “collet”. During a wet dress rehearsal test, a hydrogen leak was found near the rocket’s engine section and a collet inside the wall of the engine section was found to be loose, according to NASA.
Teams are working to repair the collet while other launch preparations are being done inside the VAB.