The Artemis I mission will now launch no sooner than April 2022.
NASA had originally scheduled the launch for late 2021, but it has since suffered multiple delays. A pre-flight "wet dress rehearsal" was scheduled for late February, but this has been delayed until at least mid-March, thanks to a long list of tasks NASA still needs to attend to for the mission.
"There's no one specific thing, we just have a lot of things that we need to close out. This is a big vehicle. It's a lot of instrumentation that needs to be finished and prepared for the final closeout activity," said Tom Whitmeyer, NASA's deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development.
According to Mike Sarafin, NASA's Artemis I mission manager, the first launch window for the Artemis I mission is between April 8th and April 23rd, with a second launch window between May 7th and May 21st. A turnaround of no less than two weeks is expected once the wet dress rehearsal is complete.
"Teams are taking operations a step at a time to ensure the integrated system is ready to safely launch the Artemis I mission. NASA is reviewing launch opportunities in April and May," NASA said in a statement.
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