Back to the Moon?

Back to the Moon?

Jordan Parker, Writer

The year was 1969, and all eyes were on the TV as Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon and Neil Armstrong said those famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Now, about 53 years later, eyes are drawn back toward their TVs as the Artemis 1 gets ready for launch, which is tentatively pushed back to mid-October

According to the official Nasa site, the Artemis 1’s mission is to orbit the moon and return safely. The mission is due to last 37 days and 23 hours, meaning the mission will last almost 38 days. Artemis 1 is the test flight of what is expected to be a series of space missions to build a long-term human presence on the Moon. The primary objectives of the flight are to demonstrate the Orion heat shield at re-entry, operatives and facilities during all mission phases, and the retrieval of the spaceship after splashdown. There are also additional secondary objectives to complete if possible throughout the mission. These secondary objectives are to support any future mission development or planning efforts and allow NASA to evaluate the performance of Orion, SLS, and supporting ground systems for future crewed missions.

However, the launch has been delayed twice, the first being on August 29th and the second on September 3rd. According to CNN, the first flight delay was caused by an error with engine #3 where it couldn’t reach the proper temperature range for take-off along with several leaks and was rescheduled for September 3rd. The flight was delayed further due to a liquid hydrogen leak and was once again rescheduled, this time for September 19, 2022.

During each attempted launch, there has been some technical issue to further delay the flight. It most likely wouldn’t come as a surprise if the launch was once again delayed on September 19th due to another technical error. As the launch continuously gets further delayed, the more doubtful the public becomes about whether or not the rocket will make it to the moon and back. Is Artemis 1 doomed to become another failed project floating in the endless expanse of space?