Elon Musk proposes a solution to NASA’s Artemis I leak problem: what is it?

As NASA cleaned up the Artemis 1 uncrewed mission to the Moon again, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Sunday offered a suggestion for the ailing mission that will finally land astronauts on the lunar surface after decades .

NASA engineers were unable to overcome a hydrogen leak during a “quick disconnect” phase of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket launch on Saturday.

According to Eric Berger of Ars Technica, NASA has a tolerance for a small amount of hydrogen leakage and anything above a 4% hydrogen concentration near the “quick disconnect” is considered a flammability hazard. .

Musk responded to Berger’s “accurate assessment”, saying that “the Raptor design started with H2 (hydrogen), but moved to CH4 (hydrogen). The latter is the best combination of high efficiency and ease of use in my opinion. »

“The delta-v difference between H2 and CH4 is small for most missions because the CH4 reservoir is much smaller and no insulation is needed,” Musk explained.

The delta-v is the difference in speed that a rocket engine can impose on a spacecraft based on the specific impulse and the variation in the mass of the craft itself.

According to him, CH4 (methane) is easier to produce on Mars and is “very important” for launch missions. SpaceX is one of the first companies to use liquid methane and hydrogen as fuel.

Musk also hopes for a self-sustaining city on the Red Planet in 20 years, as his space company readies the mega-rocket Starship to take people and goods to the moon, Mars and beyond.

According to the report, NASA’s showstopper “was an 8-inch-diameter line carrying liquid hydrogen into the rocket. It caused a persistent inlet leak, known as a quick disconnect, leading aboard the vehicle.”

NASA will then have the September 19 to October 4 launch window.

“However, creating this window would require securing the rocket to the pad and then obtaining a waiver from the US Space Force, which operates the launch area along the Florida coast,” the report said.

The space agency has another Artemis I launch opportunity from October 17 to October 31.

(Except for the title and cover image, the rest of this IANS article is unedited)

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