NASA Suspends Second Artemis Moon Launch Attempt

NASA has indefinitely postponed an attempt to lift off the new Artemis I Moon rocket for a second time due to launch failures.

On Saturday, controllers tried to get the Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle off the ground. However, it failed after a fuel leak could not be handled.

Experts explained that the powerful rocket has four engines on its underside that burn almost three million liters of super-cold liquid hydrogen and oxygen.

However, the command that inspected the ship early Saturday noted there was a flaw. When they tried to fill the hydrogen tank, an alarm indicating that it was leaking went off.

According to NASA, the problem was linked to the connection where the hydrogen was pumped to the Artemis I Moon.

Controllers reportedly attempted to repair the vehicle in multiple ways and warm up the hardware for brief periods to reset the seal. However, none of the fixes were successful.

Repairing the vehicle is expected to delay the launch by several weeks. Therefore, the US space agency may not announce the third attempt to take the spacecraft to the moon until at least mid-October at the earliest.

The SLS is the most potent rocket the US space agency has ever created. It was designed to return astronauts and their gear to the moon after a 50-year absence.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the Artemis I mission was uncrewed, but the rocket’s future role in human spaceflight meant extreme care was required to operate it.

“We will go when it’s ready. We don’t go until then, and we make sure it’s right before we put humans up on the top of it,” he stated.

The second SLS rocket launch attempt was scheduled to start at 2:17 p.m. local time (18:17 GMT), hoping to launch the human-rated Orion capsule in the direction of the moon. It is the first such event since the Apollo Project ended in 1972.

The first attempt to launch the SLS was on Monday, but controllers called it off, saying they weren’t sure the rocket’s four engines were working properly for the flight.