NASA has had to cancel Saturday’s attempt to launch the Space Launch System megarocket. This was due to a fuel leak. If this issue does not resolve in the next few days then NASA will have to put off the long-awaited Artemis 1 lunar mission until October.
The hydrogen fuel leak was found during fueling seven hours before liftoff. Engineers tried multiple times to resolve the problem at the last moment during the countdown. Three hours before launch, at 2:17 EDT (6.17 GMT), the hydrogen fuel leak was discovered.
Space agency stated that there was still an opportunity to launch Monday at 9:59 p.m. and Tuesday at 9.59 p.m. If engineers have to drag the rocket into the hangar, it is likely that the launch won’t happen before October’s SpaceX Crew-5 flight to the International Scape Station.
“We’ll go when it’s ready,”NASA Administrator Bill Nelson spoke Saturday afternoon to comment on the most recent delay. “We don’t go until then, and especially now on a test flight… This is part of the space business.”
The uncrewed Artemis 1 mission was originally meant to lift off on Monday, but a similar hydrogen leak issue, that time in one of the rocket’s four liquid fuel engines, was detected just hours before launch, forcing a delay.
American space agency, NASA has launched the ambitious Artemis program to explore the Moon and bring humans back there for the first-time in 50 years. It is expected that the first mission will be a test run in which dummies are flown to lunar orbit. Then, it will return to Earth. But, the US astronauts will not be there before 2025.
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