UNITED STATES: After great anticipation, including a number of celebrity visits and Vice President Kamala Harris’ presence, NASA announced that it was cancelling today’s attempt to launch the giant moon rocket due to technical difficulties.
Engineers could not fix a hydrogen bleed line issue with one of the rocket’s four engines, and the mission was aborted at T-40 minutes. Derrol Nail, a NASA communications officer, stated that “the engine bleed couldn’t be fixed.”
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir said in a tweet, “Artemis1 was delayed due to an engine bleed issue, but testing is part of the process. #Artemis2 will carry @NASA_Astronauts, so we need to ensure we get it right. Incredibly honored to have shared moments with @VP @KamalaHarris and the @Globies as we progress toward the Moon.”
On September 2, NASA will have another launch window, but Nail advised that “we must wait to see what shakes out” from the data in order to determine whether a launch attempt can be made on that day.
The Orion ship and the 322-foot-tall Space Launch System rocket had their first launch opportunity today. The mission, also known as Artemis I, is designed to launch NASA’s ambitious Artemis programme, which aims to send people back to the moon by the middle of the next decade.
In order to obtain performance data on the Orion spacecraft before it transports astronauts on the next mission, Artemis II, which is anticipated to launch in 2024, Artemis I is an unmanned test.
When the two-hour launch window was scheduled to open at 8:33 AM ET, NASA formally decided to cancel the mission at 8:35 AM. The first problem was what appeared to be a breach in the thermal protection layer surrounding the rocket’s core stage, though it was later determined that this was only a break in the foam, not the actual tank.
Additionally, technicians discovered a leak in a liquid hydrogen line intended to cool the four RS-25 engines located at the base of the rocket’s core stage. T-40 minutes into the countdown, NASA halted it.
Engineers are already developing a plan to keep accumulating information regarding this specific engine and the failed bleed, according to Nail. A hydrogen leak prevented the preceding wet dress rehearsal’s intended hydrogen bleed from occurring.
If hydrogen-related problems seem familiar, it is because NASA encountered a hydrogen leak problem in June during a wet dress rehearsal. Due to this problem, engineers could not continue testing the thermal system since they had to stop the countdown at T-29 seconds.
Officials from NASA claimed that they were still formulating a plan for resolving the hydrogen leak problem and compiling data.
Also Read: NASA Artemis-1 Launch: All You Need to Know