NASA’s mission to return man to the moon has taken a big step forward, after successfully feeding his giant rocket and a countdown test.
The test of the rocket of the space launch system (SLS) has been affected by delays, with technical problems and that frustrated the tests proposed in April of this year, and financial problems that have pushed back the calendar of the ‘ambitious project.
On Monday, the US space agency advanced with the first refueling of the rocket, despite another technical problem: a leak from the external fuel line.
It was the fourth attempt at the crucial test, known as the wet dress rehearsal, which is the last major milestone before its debut at launch.
Despite the fuel leak, NASA executives decided to go ahead with the countdown test at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson saying they wanted to see “how the team worked, how the hardware worked and both performed well. “
The 98-meter rocket was charged with about 1 million gallons of liquid hydrogen and super-cold oxygen.
Blackwell-Thompson said it was too early to tell what NASA’s next step might be.
Man on the Moon in 2025
NASA’s Artemis program aims to bring humans back to the surface of the moon by 2025.
The first unmanned launch of the SLS is expected later this year, ahead of a space flight scheduled to orbit the Moon with astronauts aboard the Orion capsule in 2024.
The current timeline aims to land astronauts from Orion in 2025.
Artemis’ long-term goal is to establish a permanent and sustainable presence on the lunar surface, which could then be used to prepare for missions to Mars and beyond.
Astronauts last walked on the moon in 1972 during NASA’s Apollo program. Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.