NASA said Friday it would attempt to launch its mega-rocket to the moon again in November. It has not yet announced a specific date for this very delayed launch of the Artemis 1 mission.
The American space agency has announced that it is preparing for the ‘lift-off of Artemis 1 over the firing period opening on November 12 and ending on November 27’. “In the coming days, officials will “identify a specific date for the next takeoff attempt,” NASA added in a blog post.
Officials had so far refused to completely close the door to a quicker attempt in October. But the SLS rocket, the most powerful ever built by the American space agency, had to be returned to its assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center at the start of the week in order to be sheltered from the hurricane. Ian, which devastated parts of Florida.
The rocket suffered “no damage”, reassured the space agency. But ‘focusing efforts’ on the November firing period will allow NASA employees to ‘take care of their families and homes after the storm’, she said. Before taking the rocket out on its launch pad, the teams will first have to carry out numerous checks, and in particular change or recharge the batteries of certain elements.
Two failed attempts
NASA has already made two launch attempts for this rocket, at the end of August and then at the beginning of September, but they both had to be canceled at the last moment due to technical problems. In development for over a decade, SLS has yet to fly.
Artemis is NASA’s new flagship program, which will allow humans to return to the Moon, and take the first woman and the first person of color there.
Fifty years after the last mission of the Apollo program, the Artemis 1 mission will not take an astronaut on board. It must be used to verify that the Orion capsule, at the top of the rocket, is safe to transport a crew in the future.