Rome was not built in a day, and the moon will not rise for three spoons. NASA’s mega-launcher designed for our satellite has already experienced two false starts, on August 29 and September 3, 2022. In both cases, the problem with leakage during filling the tanks with liquid hydrogen is, at least in part, at the source of the delay. It’s a stop-and-go classic in the space industry: “We don’t launch until everything is in order,” explained US Space Agency administrator Bill Nelson, who knows the question well, having been an astronaut. and flew on a space shuttle!
Launching SLS in mid-October?
Yes, “flying into space and to the moon is not yet a trivial act,” sums up space law specialist Alban Gayomarch, coordinator of the ANRT white paper “Objectif Lune.” The fact remains that the expectation is high to see the impressive orange rocket break away from Earth’s gravity, so important is the symbolic charge of this return to lunar soil. However, we’ll have to wait because Bill Nelson is now giving a launch date… mid-October.
Race between SLS, Starship and New Glenn
On September 3, after canceling the second shooting attempt, he explained (quoted in part by The Independent): “The mission control team is to meet this afternoon, they will study (SLS, editor’s note), they will see if there is still an opportunity now, or they will have to go back to the car assembly building,” Nelson explained. “If they decide that this is the case, then it will be an October launch … Although the window opens at the beginning (of the month, ed. note), I suspect that it will be more in mid-October.” In other words, the opening period should be exciting for those who follow the news of space: this is which rocket will take off first, between SLS, Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship, Blue Origin’s New Glenn (Jeff Bezos) and Vulcan, a launcher developed by United Launch Alliance, all of which should make their first flight in the coming weeks.