After a few hiccups in May and September, then delays caused by a hurricane, NASA plans to launch Orion spacecraft to Moon in November.
Back in March, at the Kennedy Space Station in Florida, the Orion spacecraft and its rocket took a four-mile journey to “LaunchPad 39D” where a test was conducted. There was a countdown to blast-off, but nothing blasted off. Around the time NASA detailed the plans for this “wet dress rehearsal” to the public, the goal was to launch the first Artemis mission in May.
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Not until the end of August did it look like NASA’s first return-trip to the Moon, albeit unmanned, was actually going to happen. However, one of the engines had an issue cooling off after re-fueling, and the August 29th launch was scrapped. Launch windows that were opened on September 2nd and 6th also ran into technical issues, and after the September 20th window closed, the Orion spaceship still sat on the launchpad, unlaunched. Three more days later, a hurricane named Ian started forming out in the Atlantic. The category-5 storm forced NASA to move the rocket and the spacecraft four miles back to the hangar as a precaution. The devastating storm did not cause damage to the Orion or its Space Launch System (SLS).
For Real This Time?
NASA has recently announced that the Orion and its rocket could be rolled back to the launchpad as soon as November 4th, with hopes to blast-off during a 69-minute window that will open on November 14th at 12:07 AM. The mission is set to last 25 days, reaching the lunar orbit, and returning to Earth by landing in the Pacific Ocean. The purpose of the operation is to ensure the rocket and the craft’s subsystems perform correctly so upcoming missions can safely include astronauts. There are 2 back-up windows planned on November 16th at 1:04 AM (eastern time) and November 19th at 1:45 AM.
Until Next Time,
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