NASA is gearing up for its next big mission, Artemis 2, as part of the Artemis program. The goal of the Artemis program is to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon and the Artemis 2 mission marks the first crewed mission of the program. NASA is making extensive preparations for the mission, which include upgrading its launch site. The upgrades include the construction of new tanks, repair work on the launch tower, modifications to the rocket transporter that will carry the rocket from the assembly facilities to the launch pad, and other systems. These preparations are a crucial step in ensuring the success of the Artemis 2 mission and NASA’s goal of establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon.
NASA Aiming To Reduce Launch Time Between Multiple Attempts By Building Larger Fuel Tanks At Kennedy Space Center
The launch of the SLS rocket was nerve-wracking for NASA as it encountered leaks in the hydrogen fuel, leading to multiple cancellations. The difficulty in ensuring the rocket’s safety on the launch pad, including removing the fuel and oxidizer, made it a challenge for NASA to make another attempt. The hydrogen fuel’s tendency to boil off during filling and de-tanking added to the complexity of the process.
NASA is taking steps to streamline the preparation process for future launches with the Artemis program. In the past, multiple attempts were made to launch the SLS rocket, hampered by fuel leaks and other pad-related issues. The hydrogen fuel used in the rocket had a tendency to boil off during both the filling and de-tanking stages, leading to waste and limiting the number of attempts the agency could make.
However, NASA has gained valuable experience from these attempts and is now upgrading its launch site for the Artemis 2 mission. The space agency is constructing a large 1.4 million gallon tank at the Kennedy Space Center to help reduce the time between launch attempts by decreasing the fuel boil-off. With this upgrade, NASA hopes to have a smoother preparation process for future launches as part of the Artemis program’s mission to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon.
NASA is upgrading its launch site in preparation for the Artemis 2 mission, the first crewed mission of the Artemis program. The new 1.4 million-gallon liquid hydrogen fuel tank, a 12% increase from the previous 1.25 million-gallon tank, will store more than twice the amount of fuel needed for the SLS rocket and its 196,000-gallon secondary tank. The mobile launch tower, which holds the SLS rocket and facilitates its fueling, has also undergone changes. After the Artemis 1 launch, the tower was damaged, particularly its elevators, which were rendered inoperable due to the rocket’s 8.8 million pounds of thrust. Repairs to the elevators will take “months” to complete and an emergency exit system will also be added.