After multiple delays, the launch of NASA’s Artemis I rocket is looming on the horizon. But, if the rocket does see another delay, it could put the booster at great risk of running out of time. That’s because the expiration dates on certain components of the Artemis I boosters are coming up in December.
One of the parts will have its expiration hit on December 9. As if that wasn’t bad enough, though, a second component will see its expiration date hit on the 14th of that same month, according to reports from Space.com. Why does Artemis I’s component have an expiration date, you ask?
It all boils down to the analyses that the team performs on each component to determine if the rocket meets the appropriate environment codes. NASA officials say that they have revisit dates set up for many of the components, but that revisits don’t guarantee the items will be approved beyond Artemis I’s original expiration dates.
Suffice it to say, this could throw some serious kinks into NASA’s plans to launch Artemis I and kick off a new era of space exploration. It was initially intended that the Artemis I mission would launch at this stage, but it has been delayed several months. NASA could be even worse off if it experiences another delay.
Obviously, this isn’t a great way to start things off for a new era of rocket boosters. Hopefully, NASA is able to get Artemis I off the ground during its next planned launch window of November 16 before the expiration date comes. It could take longer to witness the Orion Capsule working if it is not.
If the Artemis I parts were to hit their expiration date and need to be replaced, that would obviously slow down other plans, too. NASA has a lot of big plans that rely on this booster mission proving successful, too, including a manned mission to Mars set for the 2030s.