The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will send back its gigantic new moon rocket to the processing hangar next week for final repairs before a crucial prelaunch test.
NASA will haul the 322-foot-tall Artemis I mega moon rocket off the launch pad and back into the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 26 to correct various problems with ground and flight systems ahead of a prelaunch test known as “wet dress rehearsal.”
NASA teams plan to replace a faulty upper stage check valve that cannot be replaced at the launch pad and address a nitrogen issue.
“The operations are really complicated, and we want to make sure that we get them right,” Tom Whitmeyer, a senior exploration systems manager at NASA Headquarters, said in a press conference.
Whtimeyer assured that “we will absolutely go back out and do a dress rehearsal.”
“It’s just a matter of what’s the right time and right way to do that,” Whitmeyer said.
The rocket was estimated to lift off sometime between June 6 and June 16, but Whitmeyer said that “the next launch opportunity runs from June 29 to July 9.”
“I think that at this point, making the June launch window will be a bit of a challenge, with all the work we have to do,” Whitmeyer said.
The mission will kick off NASA’s Artemis program, which is expected to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon by 2025.
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