How U.S. moon landing rocket "steps down" to avoid hurricane three times this year delayed launch


In order to avoid the damage caused by the upcoming hurricane "Ian", NASA pulled the moon landing rocket "Space Launch System" from the launch pad late at night on September 26, local time. This is the third time this year that NASA has delayed the launch of a lunar rocket.


  Beginning in the middle of the night on the 26th local time, NASA removed the moon landing rocket "Space Launch System" from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and transported it back to the final assembly building. This would be the third missed launch opportunity for the Space Launch System, which had previously been delayed on August 29 and September 3 due to engine failures and fuel leaks.


  On August 17 this year, the "Space Launch System" heavy rocket and "Orion" spacecraft combination were transported to the launch pad, and the original plan was to perform the "Artemis 1" unmanned flight test mission around the moon. US media have previously reported that if the "Space Launch System" is transported back to the final assembly building, it may not attempt to launch again until November at the earliest.


  NASA's moon landing rocket launch has been delayed concurrently

 It is understood that NASA's "Space Launch System" heavy rocket started development and construction in 2011, and was originally planned to achieve its maiden flight in 2016. However, the rocket launch has been delayed more than a dozen times for various reasons.

Among them, in August 2014, NASA announced that it would postpone the launch to December 2017. In December 2014, the launch of the rocket was delayed from December 2017 to July 2018 after the technical state of the tower was found to be not as expected. In May 2017, as a result of problems such as welding of the liquid oxygen tank, NASA announced that the launch was postponed again from July 2018 to 2019. In December 2021, one of the Space Launch System rocket's engine controllers malfunctioned, causing the launch to be delayed again.


  Repeatedly delaying serious overruns of U.S. moon landing rocket sparks controversy


  NASA's "Space Launch System" rocket project has been delayed several times, cost far more than budget, and has inextricable ties with arms contractors, which has been controversial.


  Base on  the introduction of the US media "Space" website, the initial budget of the "Space Launch System" is about 10 billion US dollars.


  In his 2022 book, Escape From Gravity, former NASA deputy administrator Garver mentioned that in 2010, BoeingThe company's president had promised to build a rocket for the lunar exploration program at a cost of $6 billion within five years.

 Former NASA Deputy Administrator Garver: I don't believe these people feel they're telling the truth, but they know they can convince Congress.


  Sure enough, the project cost far more than Boeing had promised. NASA's Office of Inspector General estimated in a November 2021 report that the first four missions of the Artemis program, which cost $4.1 billion per launch, will cost $930 million by 2025. One hundred million U.S. dollars.

With the introduction on the official website of the relevant company, the US Boeing Company is the one who contracted the manufacture of the core stage of the "Space Launch System" rocket, and Lockheed Martin is the main contractor of the Orion spacecraft. On NASA's official website, the distribution of contractors involved in the "Artemis program" is also listed. More than 3,800 contractors are spread across the United States, and most of the program's funds also flow to these companies.


  The "Space Launch System" was seriously overrun, and the relevant contractors made a lot of money, but the project was repeatedly delayed, causing many disputes in the United States.

 In an article published in 2020, Eli Durado, a senior researcher at Utah State University, argued that NASA's "Space Launch System was an irreparable mistake." He pointed out that "this project is full of political fertilizers, the development cost is extremely high, and only the arms contractors like the project".


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