NASA’s powerful Crescent rocket damaged the launch pad during a launch last week, blowing open the launch tower’s elevator door.
Artemis 1maiden flight artemis programon sale early wednesday morning (November 16). It exerted about 9 million pounds (4 million kg) of thrust. space launch system (SLS) The rocket has reached the final frontier, where it has successfully completed unmanned flight. Orion spaceship heading to Moon.
The mission is otherwise nominal, but NASA is keeping a close eye on the damage left to prepare for future missions. artemis programincluding the next planned human crew: Artemis 2, We plan to fly around the Moon by 2024.
“The damage we’ve seen really involves only a few areas,” said Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis mission manager, at a news conference on Monday (November 21). emphasized.
“It just shows,” he added. most powerful rocket in the world lift. “
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like space shuttle Prior to that, the Artemis 1 launch used a water suppression system to reduce the amount of damage to the launch deck, and this worked as expected. Nonetheless, the paint on Artemis 1’s launch tower deck was stripped from the force of the liftoff, Sarafin said.
Elevators to service the launch pad did not do very well, with photos showing bent framing around at least one of the two elevators after the doors were ripped apart by shock waves generated by the SLS. did.
“The elevator system is currently not working,” Sarafin explained. “The pressure basically blew the elevator door off… The elevator is now inoperable and must be returned to service.”
According to NASA officials, a pneumatic line associated with gaseous nitrogen and gaseous helium for servicing a large SLS tank induced minor damage, tricking the oxygen sensor in the pad into leaking gas. read the hypoxia level of
The manager also found two small flight items near the pad that shouldn’t have been there. “Throat plug material” expelled from rockets during takeoff (occasionally occurs in rocket launches), and part of RTV (insulating coking). From the bottom of the Orion Capsule.
However, it is unclear whether the RTV flew off during launch or was dislodged during launch. tropical storm nicole, ripped off the strip of caulking before launch.the mission manager had Decided before launch that the RTV issue wasn’t a risk.
The damage was minor, so Sarafin characterized the SLS as a “very clean system”, adding that the rocket exceeded its performance targets and the team plans to make some changes to Artemis 2. .
“It’s all about being as safe as we can given the hostile environment we’re flying in for astronauts,” he said of the entire mission plan, including the launch phase. We take this very seriously and the flight safety of our astronauts is our number one priority.”
Elizabeth Howell is co-author ofwhy am i tall (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022, co-authored with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book on space medicine. Follow her on Twitter. @Howell Space (opens in new tab)Follow us on Twitter @space.com (opens in new tab) Also Facebook (opens in new tab).