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NASA says Artemis launch now scheduled for Saturday

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NASA/Joel Kowsky

(CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA) — UPDATE — NASA is moving the launch date of its Artemis One rocket launch to Saturday.

The moves come after leaders were forced to scrub their efforts earlier this week after discovering issues with the engine.

The unmanned test launch is designed to be the first step in returning human beings to the surface of the moon by 2025.

 

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NASA will kick off Monday its plan to send an unmanned space capsule into the moon’s orbit, marking the initial launch in an ambitious plan to establish a long term presence on the moon for scientific discovery and economic development.

The space capsule, called Artemis 1, will travel for roughly 40 days — reaching as close as 60 miles from the moon, and then 40,000 miles above the moon when orbiting over its dark side — before landing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego.

Here’s how the news is developing:

Aug 29, 8:48 AM EDT
NASA scrubs Artemis I launch

NASA announced a few minutes after Artemis I was initially scheduled to lift off that the launch has been scrubbed.

Engineers said the problem came from a liquid hydrogen line that was not chilled enough inside one of the rocket’s four core-stage engines, which needs to occur before they can be ignited.

The next attempt will occur on Sept. 2.

Aug 29, 8:31 AM EDT
Artemis launch delayed due to storms, rocket troubleshooting

Artemis I will likely not be launching at 8:33 a.m. ET as originally planned after NASA ran into several delays in its preparation to send it into space.

The process of tanking, which includes filling the rocket’s core stage with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, was delayed due to some passing storms and lightning in the area, NASA said.

Moreover, a leak was discovered in the hydrogen fuel line, which NASA quickly resolved. The leak concentration was “at an acceptable level,” NASA said.

Engineers also discovered a potential crack in the inner stage flange, which connects two of the rocket’s cylinders.

The countdown clock is currently paused at T-40 and the launch can go as late as 10:33 a.m. ET If that window passes, the next attempt at launch will be Sept. 2.

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