NASA Scrubs Massive Moon Rocket For Second Time Over Hydrogen Leak


Update (1210ET): Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson scrubbed the mission of the massive moon rocket after a liquid hydrogen leak was detected. 

“We have a scrub for the day, a cutoff of the launch attempt of Artemis I,” said Derriol Nail with NASA communications.

The liquid hydrogen leak was found in the quick disconnect of the supply that feeds the Space Launch System (SLS) ‘s core stage. NASA attempted to fix the leak but was “unsuccessful.” 

 It’s the second time NASA has scrubbed the launch of SLS in the last week because of leaks.

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Update: NASA reported a fuel leak on its massive new moon rocket just hours before a critical test flight this afternoon. The space agency said, “attempts to fix it so far have been unsuccessful. Stand by for updates.” 

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A technical issue earlier this week kept NASA’s massive moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), from launching off Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday. So NASA will attempt again on Saturday afternoon. 

“We are again proceeding into our Saturday launch attempt – – we’re comfortable with our risk posture,” Mission Manager Michael Sarafin said at press conference Thursday in Florida. “That said there’s no guarantee that we’re going to get off on Saturday, but we’re going to try.”

SLS is scheduled for a 1417 ET launch, with a two-hour launch window until 1617 ET. 

NASA’s live stream SLS coverage of the Artemis I launch begins around 1215 ET. 

“Forecasts show that there is a 60 percent chance of favorable weather at the beginning of the launch window, and the odds improve to 80 percent by the end of the two-hour time slot,” NYTimes reported. 

If SLS gets off the ground, it will propel an uncrewed Orion capsule into low-Earth orbit on a trajectory around the moon in a 42-day mission. Onboard will be an array of sensors to collect data on what astronauts will experience in future moon trips. 

If all goes well, NASA will conduct Artemis 2 mission sometime in 2024, sending four astronauts on a flyby mission to the moon. Then by 2025, Artemis 3 mission would allow for the first crewed moon landing on the moon. 

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