Following a failed attempt earlier this week, NASA has once again delayed the start of its Artemis 1 Moon mission. The agency was forced to scrub Saturday’s launch after staff at Kennedy Space Center failed to fix a persistent leak in a liquid hydrogen connection point on the agency’s next-generation Space Launch System super heavy-lift rocket.
NASA detected the leak at 7:23AM ET and tried to troubleshoot the problem in a few different ways, but after three failed attempts ground crew recommended a « no go » for Saturday’s launch attempt. Monday’s attempt was cut short after one of the four on the SLS could not reach the appropriate temperature to send Artemis 1 into space.
« The Artemis I mission to the Moon has been postponed. Teams attempted to fix an issue related to a leak in the hardware transferring fuel into the rocket, but were unsuccessful, » NASA said on Twitter.
Provided NASA can fix the leak on Launch Pad 39B, the agency has one last window it can attempt a launch before a major delay becomes inevitable. If it can’t fly by September 5th, NASA will need to roll the SLS back to the Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building to conduct a test of the rocket’s flight termination system. At that point, the earliest Artemis 1 could get underway would be September 19th, but an October launch would be more likely.
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