NASA fueling moon rocket for launch after leaks, hurricanes

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA began fueling its new moon rocket Tuesday for a middle-of-the-night launch, its third try to put an empty capsule around the moon for the first time in 50 years.

Fuel leaks plagued the first two late summer attempts, then a pair of hurricanes caused more delays. While engineers never pinpointed the cause of the escaping hydrogen, they altered the fueling process to minimize leakage and were confident that all the plumbing in the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket would remain tight and intact.

NASA added an hour to the operation to account for the slower fill-up, vital for reducing pressure on the fuel lines and keeping the seals in place. It seemed to work, with no major leakages reported during the early stages.

“So far, everything is going very smoothly,” said assistant launch director Jeremy Graeber about an hour into fueling.

The rocket was being gassed up with nearly 1 million gallons (3.7 million liters) of super-cold hydrogen and oxygen.

NASA expected 15,000 to jam Kennedy Space Center for the launch in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with thousands more lining the beaches and roads outside the gates. The space agency had two hours to get the rocket off, before standing down until Saturday.

The debut of the Space Launch System rocket, known as SLS, had three test dummies but no astronauts inside the crew capsule on top, which NASA hoped to put into lunar orbit.

This first test flight was expected to last three weeks, ending with a splashdown in the Pacific. NASA’s top priority for the $4.1 billion mission is to verify the capsule’s heat shield during reentry, so four astronauts can strap in for the next moonshot in 2024. That would be followed by a two-person lunar landing in 2025.

NASA last sent astronauts to the moon in December 1972, closing out the Apollo program.

———

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source ABC

A tech blog author and superhero who writes about technology and its impact on society, business, and everyday life

Related Posts

On anniversary of NASA’s Webb telescope reaching destination, here are the most striking images so far

Tuesday marks one year since the James Webb Space Telescope reached its destination, orbiting 1 million miles away from Earth. The Webb telescope, which was launched on Christmas Day in…

Read more

Laravel – Geoip find timezone by country and region

In PHP 8.1 and Laravel, you can use the geoip package to find the timezone based on the country and region. The package provides an easy-to-use interface to the MaxMind…

Read more

Why some major Texas universities are blocking TikTok access on internet networks

A host of major Texas universities announced overnight that they have banned TikTok from government-issued devices and restricted access to the social media app on their internet networks. The University…

Read more

Collection of voice data for profit raises privacy fears

A customer-service center uses artificial intelligence to identify a caller’s agitation, an insurance company scans voice data to flag illness and raise rates, a five-star restaurant denies a reservation over…

Read more

Company creates 2 artificial intelligence interns: ‘They are hustling and grinding’

Artificial intelligence isn’t just making inroads in technology. Soon, AI may replace human beings in jobs as evidenced by one company that has created two AI interns. Kyle Monson, co-founder…

Read more

World leaders unprepared for rise in cyberwarfare in the ’90s, author says

World leaders were not prepared for the rise in cyberwarfare in the ’90s and today they still need to stay vigilant, according to an author who has been tracking online…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *