Destination In Sight

You probably heard – Artemis didn’t get off the ground this morning. Part of it was technical and mechanical, some sticky valves and temperatures out of range, communications issues. Part of it was weather, lighting in the area that delayed fueling and then storms building up as they were trying to decide to press ahead and try to solve the engine issues. In the end it was a good decision to stand down, solve the technical and mechanical problems, wait for a better day to fly.

This evening, just before sunset, the destination was making a most beautiful appearance in the evening sky.

Along with one of the obligatory jets on final approach to LAX after a 15 hour flight from Asia.

When it got a little bit darker and the contrast was a little better and the Moon wasn’t down in the coastal fog and atmospheric soup, a bit of detail could be seen.

Click on it to blow it up – that big round spot on the illuminated limb is Mare Crisium.

If I wasn’t in deadlines up to my eyeballs and trying to get out of town to Worldcon in less than 48 hours, it would have been tempting to haul the ‘scope out of the back yard.

But I am and I am, so I didn’t.

We’ll get an idea tomorrow afternoon of when NASA might try to launch again when they have an update on Artemis’ status. If they can repair it on the pad fast, there’s another launch window on Friday. If they can repair it on the pad but need the weekend, there’s a third launch window next Monday. If they can’t repair it on the pad or it’s going to take more than a week, they’ll have to roll the vehicle back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, which means a launch attemp no earlier than October.

When we’re ready, the Moon will still be there. I have faith.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space

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