The NASA lunar rover faces another test delay before the spacecraft’s expected first flight Artemis program.
For months, NASA employees have been running a series of tests called “Green Run” on the first base stage of the agency’s huge new missile. Space Launch System (SLS). Tests are conducted on NASA Stennis Space Center In Mississippi before it was shipped to Florida for an unmanned Artemis 1 launch from the NASA Kennedy Space Center, near Orlando.
at Monday short update (Feb. 22), NASA said it was “declining valve performance” in the primary stage of the SLS, forcing the agency to delay a second “hot fire” test. No new date has been announced for the hot fire.
The agency confirmed that the valve in question was working properly during The first hot fire test, Conducted on January 16. this procedure It ended after just 67 secondsInstead of the planned eight minutes, he prompted the agency to schedule an upcoming second test to collect all the data required to confirm the missile was operating as planned.
This test was scheduled for February 25. But during preparations to leave last weekend, engineers found that one of the eight valves in the SLS was “not working properly”, according to NASA, leading to the delay. Running Green has faced delays since late 2020, when the seventh test in the series, a “wet dress” training, required two procedures.
NASA was You are faced with a tight deadline To ship an SLS missile to Kennedy on a planned unmanned flight around the moon by the end of the year, a milestone in the human moon landing schedule for Artemis 3 in 2024.
Recent weeks have seen some hints that the deadline for 2024 may not be a firm target anymore. Earlier this month, the administration of President Joe Biden Committed to continuing work on landing humans on the moon But the discussion did not include any language about the 2024 target, which was set by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Furthermore, NASA Acting Administrator Steve Goerchick – who was just hired last month when management handed over – recently told Ars Technica that I felt the deadline was “no longer realistic.”Given that NASA did not receive its full request for Artemis allocations in previous budgets – Including the human landing system (HLS). NASA too Pause the HLS selection process Advance in this month.
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