NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft on board is seen atop Mobile Launch Vehicle 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 26, 2022.
Steve Seiple | NASA
NASA postponed its Artemis I moon mission again on Saturday after making a second attempt to launch an unmanned launch vehicle from Earth.
The space agency is working to debut its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule for what would be more than a month’s journey around the moon.
While NASA was fueling the rocket Saturday morning, the agency’s team discovered hydrogen fuel leaking from the engine section. NASA made several attempts to fix the leak, but time was running out before the launch window, which was scheduled to open at 2:17 p.m. ET.
NASA canceled Monday’s first launch attempt after failing to resolve a temperature problem identified with one of the rocket’s four liquid-propellant engines, discovered with less than two hours left in the countdown.
It was unclear whether NASA would be able to retry on its next launch opportunities on Monday or Tuesday. If NASA decides not to try again in the coming days, the agency will likely roll the 32-story rocket back into the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a delay of weeks or more.
The unmanned launch is set to mark the debut of the most powerful rocket ever assembled and usher in NASA’s long-awaited return to the lunar surface. It is the first mission in NASA’s Artemis lunar program, tentatively scheduled to land the agency’s astronauts on the moon by its third mission in 2025.