Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NASA delays final test for moon shot



NASA delays final test for moon shot

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NASA's Space Launch System rocket at launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in March 2022. AFP

NASA delays final test for moon shot

The latest test of NASA’s giant Moon rocket SLS has been pushed back to allow for a SpaceX rocket to launch later this week, the US space agency announced on Tuesday.

The dress rehearsal for the giant Space Launch System had been scheduled for Friday at launch pad 39B at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the same time as SpaceX’s lift-off from pad 39A.

The test of the rocket, which is to return humans to the Moon, is now expected to resume shortly after the take-off of the SpaceX flight, which is to carry three businessmen and a former astronaut to the International Space Station.

The 98m SLS rocket will remain on its launch pad while waiting.

In this final test before blast-off for the Moon later this year, all the steps leading up to launch must be rehearsed, from filling the tanks to the final countdown, which will be stopped just before the engines fire.

The run-through started last Friday and was originally scheduled to end late Sunday, but NASA teams encountered “a whole myriad of technical challenges” as well as uncooperative weather on Saturday, said Mike Sarafin, the mission manager for the Artemis Moon landing.

Among the problems encountered were four lightning strikes hitting the launch pad during a thunderstorm, which at least proved that the protection system had worked as planned.

But the problems were not “major issues,” Sarafin said. “We haven’t run into any fundamental design flaws or design issues.”

“We take pride in learning from these tests,” he said, calling the ones already carried out in recent days “partially successful.”

Artemis 1 will mark the first flight of the SLS, whose development has lagged years behind schedule.

The Orion capsule at its top will be propelled to the Moon, where it will be placed in orbit before returning to Earth.

The first mission will not have astronauts on board. The take-off date is to be announced after the so-called “wet” dress rehearsal.

A launch window is possible in early June, and Sarafin said he was “not ready to give up on it yet.”

Another launch window is possible in early July.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the