Artemis 2: flight delayed

28 Jan 2024

As expected, the flight of the Artemis 2 mission has been delayed. Instead of November this year, the plan is now for it to take off next September, in 2025.

And as curiosity demands we can’t help but wonder why the delay occurred. The answer to this exists on three levels.

The most general lies in the fact that such flights and almost everything related to astronautics is a very complex job for today’s level of science and technology, or in other words: it is not easy to do when there are a thousand (literally) details.

Understandably, each of these things can endanger the mission, therefore, all of them should be examined and checked while special attention should be paid to their connection with other details.

There is also the laconic answer that says: the most important thing for us is safety, and as long as there is a possibility that something will not go as planned, even if it is a small thing – there will be no launch.

But the answer that interests us the most and that specifically talks about the problem – well, there are more of them, has been clarified in the news coming from NASA these days.

During the test flight of the Artemis 1 mission at the end of 2022, small pieces of charred material were observed to be “released” from the spacecraft’s heat shield during the spacecraft’s entry into the atmosphere and this occurred while the shuttle was returning from space.

Those who have been following the space race know from the history of astronautics how important this shield is and the many problems it brought on humanity in our previous attempts to conquer pieces of the galaxy.

Of course, the task of the shield is to prevent excessive heating of the ship and especially the cabin with the crew. This problem may not seem that big, but simply said the models and calculations did not match what happened in real time. So now manufacturers are trying to understand why exactly the simulated models don’t match said reality.

In addition to the above, an error in the design of the life support circuit was also observed, and the circuit control valves have to be replaced – and this takes a lot of time. And then there’s also the construction of rapid refueling facilities at the Kennedy Space Center.

This delay of Artemis 2 will, of course, also cause a delay in the flight of Artemis 3, and it is precisely this flight that we are looking forward to. Because Artemis 1 and 2 are just kind of test flights which, in case of success, should lead to Artemis 3, with which a human crew should also land on the Moon. Hopefully.

It is clear that the general public, the one who carefully follows the development of astronautics, is irritated by all the delays, but on the other hand, the history of flights teaches us that tragic events occur precisely because of impatience and taking unnecessary risks.

If eventually a crew makes it to the Moon and then returns safely to Earth, all these problems and delays will be forgotten, so fingers crossed we hit a breakthrough soon!

Want to read more about the universe and NASA’s Moon landing program? Visit our blog!

Visit our blog!