NASA is considering Sept. 27 for its third attempt to launch the Artemis I uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft. According to the agency, the date, which is still under review, will allow time for a cryogenic demonstration test to be conducted no earlier than Sept. 21 as well as providing a potential backup launch opportunity on Oct. 2. The current launch window for the mission closes on Oct. 4 with the next running Oct. 17-31.
“The updated dates represent careful consideration of multiple logistical topics, including the additional value of having more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test, and subsequently more time to prepare for the launch,” the agency said in its latest mission update. “The dates also allow managers to ensure teams have enough rest and to replenish supplies of cryogenic propellants.”
As previously reported by AVweb, the first Artemis I launch attempt was scrubbed when one of the SLS’s engines failed to reach the proper temperature range for liftoff and the second attempt was called off due to a hydrogen leak. NASA stated that repairs in the area of the leak were completed over the weekend, a fix which will be confirmed by the cryogenic demonstration test. Artemis I is the first of a three-mission series designed to land a crew on the lunar surface for the first time since 1972.