NASA postpones the launch of its Artemis program’s second attempt

Artemis moon mission postponed again

NASA postponed the launch of its moon-to-Mars Artemis program’s second attempt on Saturday due to a continuous fuel leak, which the space agency said might cause the mission’s debut to be delayed by at least a few weeks.

The Artemis 1 preflight operations were halted for the day about three hours before the projected launch time for the 32-story-tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion capsule from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on September 3 at 2:17 p.m. EDT (1817 GMT).

After three failed attempts to fix a “major” leak of supercooled liquid hydrogen propellant being pumped into the rocket’s core-stage fuel tanks by Kennedy Space Center technicians, the countdown had been stopped, according to agency officials.

Technical glitches, such as a different fuel line leak, a temperature sensor that wasn’t working properly, and cracks found in the insulation foam, also halted the first launch effort on Monday.

According to an associate NASA administrator, Jim Free, at a late-afternoon briefing, the delay means the earliest opportunity to try again would come during the next launch period, which extends from Sept. 19 to 30, or during a subsequent October window.

Although many analysts say the deadline would likely slip, Artemis, named for the goddess who was Apollo’s twin sister in ancient Greek mythology, aims to bring humans back to the moon’s surface as early as 2025.

This mission is also expected to shut the mouths of millions of people who doubted that twelve astronauts, including those of the Apollo 11 mission, headed by Neil Armstrong, walked on the moon during six Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972.

  • September 4, 2022
Universe & Existence