NASA SLS Rocket’s Flight Termination System May Further Delay Launch Written 8 September 2022


Artist's rendtion of the Space Launch System. | NASA

The Washington Post reports on the Flight Termination System for NASA’s Space Launch System, a “detonation system designed to destroy the rocket in case it starts to veer wildly off course and threaten people on the ground.” The system, while “a vital and ubiquitous” safety component, is “creating a bit of a headache for NASA as it struggles to launch the SLS rocket for the first time.” Although the Space Force “requires the batteries on the SLS’s termination system to be recharged” regularly, this task can “only be done in the rocket’s assembly building,” further delaying “a launch that last week was waived off twice because of other technical problems, including a massive leak of the liquid hydrogen the rocket uses for fuel.” The Space Force had already extended its battery charging time window, and NASA is in discussions “for a waiver that would allow the time frame to be extended yet again,” although the waive would “have to extend the initial 20-day requirement to over some 40 days, since the earliest NASA could attempt a launch is a two-week period that begins Sept. 19.”
Full Story (Washington Post)