The date for the next launch attempt of Artemis I is yet to be finalized.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, announced on Monday that the launch of its uncrewed test lunar space mission, called Artemis I, was halted due to a problem with the rocket’s engine.
“Engineers are evaluating data gathered during the Artemis I launch attempt Monday, Aug. 29, when teams could not get the rocket’s engines to the proper temperature range required to start the engines at liftoff, and ran out of time in the two-hour launch window to continue,” the U.S. space agency said in a blog.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson further explained that the engine bleed issue was affecting one of the engines and said “We don’t launch until it’s right.”
“They’ve got a problem with the gases going on in the engine bleed on one engine. You can’t go, there are certain guidelines. And I think it’s just illustrative that this is a very complicated machine, a very complicated system and all those things have to work. And you don’t want to light the candle, until it’s ready to go,” Nelson said.
“We are stressing and testing this rocket and the spacecraft in a way that you would never do it with a human crew onboard. That’s the purpose of a test flight,” he added.
While the date for the next launch attempt is yet to be finalized, the earliest possible opportunity is September 2, during a two-hour launch window that opens at 12:48 p.m., according to NASA. The space agency has earlier announced September 5 as the other backup launch date. NASA will hold a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the flight test of the agency’s mega Moon rocket and uncrewed Orion spacecraft.
NASA’s Artemis I mission will be an uncrewed flight test of the gigantic Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft around the Moon. With a motley crew of mannequins and biological experiments in the Artemis 1 mission, the U.S. wants to build a sustained human presence on the Earth’s only natural satellite, and use the lessons gained from the mission to eventually plan a trip to Mars.
The mission’s launch was announced in July as NASA celebrated 53 years of Apollo 11, the country’s first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon.