COVID -19 pandemic causes a delay in tests of NASA’s latest SLS mega-rocket


NASA’s important center is gradually reopening even with COVID -19 pandemic around. Still, interruptions caused by the pandemic measures have guaranteed that the first flight in the NASA’s program called the Artemis program will launch in 2021 when the year is about to end.

An update on the Artemis 1 mission was provided during a meeting this past week by the NASA officials, which would also be the agency’s massive first flight called the Space Launch System rocket.

It was reported that NASA was aiming to launch the Artemis 1 in the mid-to-late 2021, the launch would also be accompanied by the agency’s Orion capsule on a journey around the moon that had no crew. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic also causing sorts of interruptions, panic and delays it made NASA re-think about executing the launch

For instance, Stennis Space Center that is based in Mississippi, the NASA station that was to conduct necessary tests on the SLS rocket has been shut down to almost all onsite work from March 20th  the events intended to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic which causes breathing difficulties and other respiratory problems.

Tom Whitemeyer, an assistant deputy associate administrator for NASA, was confident and comfortable saying that the launch would be possible at the end of next year, he further said that people need to get through the green-run tests referring to trials with the giant SLS core stage instigated to guarantee the rocket will be ready for a flight. He highlighted that the Stennis crew had been on track conducting some tests and that they had gone about ten days to finish the integration actions.

He further highlighted that the pandemic measures came along, and according to the number rising within the vicinity, the Stennis closed down its operations for a couple of weeks. However, the most necessary maintenance tasks were given the priority

The outcome is that the crucial tests will be late because the Artemis 1 SLS arrived late in January, but before the coronavirus situation NASA was so hopeful of doing experiments on the rocket in August to deliver it early in Kennedy Space Center around October

Whitemeyer has projected that it will be delayed by about three months with the SLS going in Florida late this year, he also highlighted that some testing amenities were in a region that is prone to hurricanes hence, in turn, would cause further delays, the tests would also reveal the issues that slow down the final launch program.

The test needed to be conducted slowly and steadily to decrease the perils on the famous Artemis 1 flight.

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