(WJW) – A new launch date has been set for the Artemis 1 spacecraft to try again to lift-off as America takes the first steps to return to the moon.
That’s great news for science lovers and scientists who worked on the project here in Northeast Ohio.
The Great Lakes Science Center hosted a watch party Monday morning, when the Artemis 1 was originally scheduled for a lift-off that was scrubbed.
Tuesday, we got an update from NASA, which says they will try again this Saturday at 2:17 p.m.
“I know we were all looking forward to having a launch yesterday and I can assure you there’s nobody that’s more ready to go fly the rocket than I am. We did run into some issues that we couldn’t get dis-positioned in real time yesterday and get to T-zero in the launch window,” said program manager John Honeycutt.
The much-anticipated launch of an un-manned rocket to orbit the moon was scrubbed for several reasons, including an engine that wouldn’t get cool enough for lift-off, despite desperate efforts to get it fixed in time for launch.
“Ultimately that was not successful and when we started to look at that, along with the timeline for additional troubleshooting, we were outside the bounds of being able to attempt a launch attempt within the window and we went ahead and called the scrub for the day,” said launch director Charlie Blackwell Thompson.
Some of the work for the project was done at NASA right here in Cleveland and the Armstrong testing facility in Sandusky.
“The threat of lightning within five miles of the pod must remain at or below 20%. Given some thunderstorms developing offshore, I wasn’t comfortable with that threshold being met and offered a 4% chance of lightning within the pad,” said Marc Burger, launch weather officer.
According to Burger, the weather on Saturday still does not look ideal, but he still believes a launch is possible. NASA has a two hour window from 2:17 p.m. to 4:17 p.m.
“So while I would expect some threat of a violation during that two-hour window, we have two hours to work with and these showers tend to have quite a bit of real estate between them, so I still think we have a pretty good opportunity weather-wise to launch on Saturday,” Burger said.
There’s no word yet on whether the Great Lakes Science Center will hold another watch party.
Artemis 1 is just the first phase of U.S. mission to the moon.
This unmanned craft will orbit the moon, the next phase is a manned mission to orbit and then eventually returning to the surface the moon.