back to article Artemis I will get 3 launch attempts after termination system extension agreed

NASA's huge Space Launch System (SLS) will get its three launch attempts in the coming weeks after officials approved an extension to validation of the Flight Termination System from 20 to 25 days. Depending on when it launches, the mission could last anywhere from four to six weeks during which the spacecraft will be placed …

  1. JDPower666

    Hang on, how did I miss the news that Shaun the Sheep was going to space? Sod cost of living, drought, and potential world war 3, THAT is the headline news I'm looking for!

    1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      Or they could remove the dummies and put Truss and Sunak in there -- oh and Johnson as well, as he is particularly useless. It doesn't matter if there's a problem bringing the spacecraft back, no one (who matters) will care.

      They seemed determined to get SLS up before Musk's Starship (that's not allowed to fly before 1st Sept). I wonder if that's because once Starship has completed its few test flights we won't ever need another SLS. (I know it's not human rated -- yet.)

      I'll get my coat...

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Starship could never replace SLS

        Think of the Senators! Without SLS how are they going to claim that they are bringing jobs to their state? Where are their campaign funds going to come from? There is just no way SpaceX could ever compete with SLS. Gwynne Shotwell has said she doesn't even know how to build a billion dollar rocket.

      2. Binraider Silver badge

        Use Dragon for us meat bags and starship for heavy lift. Job done.

        Buzz Aldrin himself wrote the PhD and book on how to do orbital rendezvous.

        70+crew starships are obviously contingent on the ship proving itself hundreds of times over so no rush on the crew element just yet. Rather like space shuttle was supposed to do…. Oh, hang on.

        1. Mishak Silver badge


          A Starship variant is due to land people on the moon in a few years, so it's unlikely there will be hundreds of launches before that.

          I suspect the first ones will be used for Starlink 2 deployments, whilst development of the refuelling and moon variants progresses.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Except

            If I was offered a ride in a really tall rocket, landing arse first on the moon, with some spindly legs sticking out not very far, I think I might pass. If they had a “get the hell out of here, it’s falling” system, I would go.

          2. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Except

            Landing on the moon doesn't need abort modes, unlike launching from the earth...

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Except

              Er, it really does need possible abort capability if there's people on board.

              The Apollo Lunar Module had a big Abort button, which would drop the descent stage, and burn the ascent engine to get back to orbit. It even had a entirely separate backup computer, just for aborts when the main computer was down.

              If you don't have an abort mode, this is what happens >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

              1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

                Re: If you do have an abort mode...

                You are on the Moon without a ride home and you will be dead before a replacement can arrive. Escape systems can only be useful near Earth.

                1. Chris 239

                  Re: If you do have an abort mode...

                  @Flocke Kroes: Are you confusing this with LAUNCH abort?, the Apollo Lunar Module LANDING abort was abort BACK TO ORBIT. Sorry for shouty caps :-(

                  I'm sure phuzz is correct, there must be an abort back to orbit on the HLS Lunar landing, same as there was on Apollo. If after landing you have an issue preventing successful launch then yes you're SOOL

                  But lunar launch is I guess an all or nothing thing with no safe abort possible.

                  Of course Starship won't have a landing abort when it lands on earth but I don't think it will do that with people on board for a long time (not sure how the guy that is paying for Dear Moon is going to take that!)

                  1. MyffyW Silver badge

                    Re: If you do have an abort mode...

                    One of the fears for Apollo was they'd land safely, roam around and then the ascent module would fail to launch. Imagine staring at the distant Earth with your last remaining oxygen. Doesn't bear thinking about.

                  2. phuzz Silver badge

                    Re: If you do have an abort mode...

                    I don't think there's any clear information yet, but I believe the plan is for SpaceX to build a Lunar lander version of Starship, which will be launched unmanned, and will travel all the way out to the Lunar gateway station.

                    Then the astronauts will travel out to meet it in an Orion capsule launched by SLS. Then they'll climb into the Starship, land, do science, take off again and return to the Lunar gateway, then get back into Orion for the trip home.

                    The Lunar version of Starship will stay in orbit around the moon, and will probably never return to earth.

                    (Obviously all this could change between now and whenever they launch).

              2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

                Re: Except

                Atari springs to mind.


  2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Are we sure that it's not shear'say & we are being fleeced baa the media.

    I'll get me sheepskin coat.

  3. eldakka Silver badge

    Rolling back to the pad tomorrow, the SLS might finally take flight in August

    August of which year?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I will be very disappointed if they beat RocketLab to the moon, but anything is possible.

    1. Apollo-Soyuz 1975

      The Rocket Lab flight is testing a very slow — and very propellant-efficient — ballistic trans-lunar trajectory, while SLS-Artemis will use the Apollo brute-force method (huge trans-lunar maneuver + huge lunar-orbit maneuver) to get to the moon in three days. Doubtful that any feelings would be hurt, TBH.

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