NASA's Artemis 1 Moon mission postponed

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Dec 23, 2021, 12:20 AM IST
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NASA Photograph:(AFP)

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NASA is now looking at a launch in March or April next year

US space agency NASA has postponed its uncrewed Artemis 1 Moon mission. The mission has been delayed to March next year. The postponement has come about due to issue with the engine.

Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft around the Moon. It was initially slated for launch in February 2022 before missions with astronauts.

NASA is now targeting a launch in March or April 2022, the space agency said in a statement.

During a recent core stage power test, engineers identified an issue with one of the RS-25 engine flight controllers.

The flight controller works as the "brain" for each RS-25 engine, communicating with the SLS rocket to provide precision control of the engine as well as internal health diagnostics. Each controller is equipped with two channels so that there is a back-up, should an issue arise with one of the channels during launch or ascent. In the recent testing, channel B of the controller on engine four failed to power up consistently.

"After performing a series of inspections and troubleshooting, engineers determined the best course of action is to replace the engine controller, returning the rocket to full functionality and redundancy while continuing to investigate and identify a root cause," NASA officials said in the statement.

"NASA is developing a plan and updated schedule to replace the engine controller while continuing integrated testing and reviewing launch opportunities in March and April."

(With inputs from agencies)