This was announced by the US space agency Nasa this week a lightning bolt of record strength hit one of its launch complexes at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, while the Artemis I mission rocket was parked on the premises (see photo below).
Despite the intensity of the phenomenon the event did no damage neither for the mission’s Space Launch System (SNL) nor for the Orion capsule, which were in the complex for a test phase.
All of this would have happened in early April this year when the lightning struck the lightning protection system at Complex 39B (see video above with other lightning footage at the complex).
1 of 2 Lightning will be imaged on April 2, 2022 at Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. — Photo: NASA
Lightning is recorded on April 2, 2022 at Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. — Photo: NASA
“There was a tremendous amount of energy transferred in this event,” said Chief Technology Officer Carlos Mata, who developed the system for NASA.
“After more than 30 milliseconds we still had nearly 3,000 amps flowing through the floor. This particular event falls in that tiny percentage less than 1% that you just don’t count on,” the expert added.
NASA explains that our highvoltage transmission lines typically carry less than 3,000 amps by comparison. to feed entire cities.
“Once we started analyzing the data and found that the system was doing what we designed it to do, I don’t think I can describe how I felt when I knew we weren’t letting anyone down, that we did our due diligence and we did it right.”
2 of 2 The Artemis mission to the moon will use the SLS rocket. — Photo: NASA
The Artemis mission to the moon will use the SLS rocket. — Photo: NASA
Next Saturday, June 18, NASA is scheduled to start another test phase of Artemis I procedures.
The Orion capsule of Artemis’ first unmanned mission is scheduled to be launched in the second half of this year.