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NASA sets tentative launch date for SLS

NASA yesterday announced that it is targeting August 29, 2022 for the first unmanned launch of its SLS rocket.

NASA is tentatively targeting Aug. 29 for the long-awaited maiden flight of the agency’s huge Space Launch System moon rocket, officials said Wednesday. But they cautioned major challenges remain for the oft-delayed rocket and an official date will not be set until later.

As it stands, the launch processing schedule is extremely tight and depends on successful checkout of a repaired hydrogen line fitting, good results from end-to-end pre-flight checks of the rocket’s myriad other systems and getting everything done in time to haul it back out to the launch pad by around Aug. 18.

If any delays occur, this launch window extends until September 6th. If they can’t make that date, the next launch window opens on September 19th.

The mission, to send the Orion capsule around the Moon and back, would last 42 days and if launched as planned would return October 10th.

The announcement also slipped in this tidbit:

If the initial test flight goes well, NASA plans to launch four astronauts atop the second SLS rocket for an around-the-moon shakedown flight in 2024 — Artemis 2 — before sending the first woman and the first person of color to a landing near the moon’s south pole in 2025 or 2026 as part of the Artemis 3 mission. [emphasis mine]

This I think is the first time NASA officials have hinted that the launch might be delayed to ’26. It is no surprise, but as they have always done with SLS, they give these hints softly, prepping the press so that it doesn’t make news.

As for the disgraceful unseemly focus on race and sex, it appears that NASA is now an apartheid state. The make-up of missions will no longer be determined by skill and experience, but by ethnic considerations, with favoritism always given to minorities or women.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

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  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Mr. Z. states “The make-up of missions will no longer be determined by skill and experience, but by ethnic considerations, with favoritism always given to minorities or women.”
    NASA Public Relations Dept. will probably brand the upcoming manned Moon missions “A Diverse Age of Discovery”.
    I would prefer that NASA actually communicate to the tax paying public their answers to a few key questions:
    – Why did humans stop going to the moon?
    – Why is it important for Humanity to go back to the moon?
    – Why should the US lead this effort working together with our partners from the Artemis Accords?

  • Concerned

    One wit dubbed Artemis “Lady Ghostbusters on the Moon”

  • John

    What an exciting time for space exploration! NASA has a lot of work and a big decisions coming up. Will the person of color or the woman (whatever that is) be the first to step onto the moon? Perhaps they’ll design two exits and synchronize. Or maybe they’ll combine groups! That would be fabulous! However, we have to ask ourselves where are the transgenders? Maybe it’ll be a surprise reveal. Can’t wait for the sexual orientation analysis of all involved, the kindergartners are really going to be inspired by that. There might not even be any cis genders! This is great, forward progressives, safe space on the freakin moon! Wooo Hooo!

    I am wondering if the scientists and engineers could not take 2023 off, I don’t know if I can wait!

  • John

    I am deeply sorry for not explicitly praising and including homosexuals. It has come to my attention that words are violence, and that was not my intention. I am very excited for the gay astronaut, whatever genders it may be. I have always bowed before LGBTW&X+ pride, and will continue to do so.

  • ” . . . .with favoritism always given to minorities or women.”

    And they will live with that stigma the rest of their lives. ‘Did I go because I was good, or because I was [pick one]?’

    The detrimental effect of preferential treatment was a big deal. Thirty years ago. Now, no-one cares. Long as they get theirs.

  • Jeff Wright

    I think both SLS and Starship launch on my Birthday month of Sept.

  • pawn

    As the last of the frail, pale, males are retiring from NASA proper, NASA has become increasingly dependent on subcontractors to actually get things done. Since NASA is paying the bills, NASA gets to decide who goes. The Astronaut Office in the era of the Space Shuttle became ridiculously political. NASA is blatantly pandering to the public to insure continued support from Congress.

    As long as NASA can pay to keep it’s logo flying, all is well, as long as the value of what gets done is political.

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