NASA’s Artemis I launch scrubbed due to fuel leaks

fuel leak and then an engine problem during final liftoff preparations led NASA to scrub the launch of its mighty new moon rocket Monday morning on a shakedown flight with three test dummies aboard. The next launch attempt will not take place until Friday at the earliest. As precious minutes ticked away, NASA repeatedly stopped and started the fueling of the Space Launch System rocket with nearly 1 million gallons of super-cold hydrogen and oxygen because of a leak of highly explosive hydrogen in the same place that saw seepage during a dress rehearsal back in the spring. Then, NASA ran into new trouble when it was unable to properly chill one of the rocket’s four main engines, officials said. Engineers continued working to gather data and pinpoint the source of the problem after the launch postponement was announced. The rocket was set to lift off on a mission to put a crew capsule into orbit around the moon. The launch represents a milestone in America’s quest to put astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo program ended 50 years ago. The 322-foot spaceship is the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA, out-muscling even the Saturn V that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon. As for when NASA might make another launch attempt, launch commentator Derrol Nail said the problem was still being analyzed, and “we must wait to see what shakes out from their test data.” Mission overview Orion’s journey will last 42 days as it travels to the moon, loops around it and returns to Earth — traveling a total of 1.3 million miles. The capsule will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego. Video below: Lightning strikes towers at Artemis 1 launch pad, NASA says While the passenger list doesn’t include any humans, it does have passengers: three mannequins and a plush Snoopy toy will ride in Orion. The crew aboard Artemis I may sound a little unusual, but they each serve a purpose. Snoopy will serve as the zero gravity indicator — meaning that he will begin to float inside the capsule once it reaches the space environment. The mannequins, named Commander Moonkin Campos, Helga and Zohar, will measure deep space radiation future crews could experience and test a new suit and shielding technology. A biology experiment carrying seeds, algae, fungi and yeast is tucked inside Orion to measure how life reacts to this radiation as well. Cameras inside and outside of Orion will share images and video throughout the mission, including live views from the Callisto experiment, which will capture a stream of Commander Moonikin Campos sitting in the commander’s seat. If you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you can ask it about the mission’s location each day. Expect to see views of Earthrise, similar to what was shared during Apollo 8 for the first time, but with much better cameras and technology. Science experiments and technology demonstrations are riding in a ring on the rocket. The 10 small satellites, called CubeSats, will detach and go their separate ways to collect information on the moon and the deep space environment. The inaugural mission of the Artemis program will kick off a phase of space exploration that lands diverse astronaut crews at previously unexplored regions of the moon and eventually delivers crewed missions to Mars. The rocket and spacecraft will be tested and put through their paces for the very first time before they carry astronauts to the moon on Artemis II and Artemis III, slated for 2024 and 2025 respectively.

fuel leak and then an engine problem during final liftoff preparations led NASA to scrub the launch of its mighty new moon rocket Monday morning on a shakedown flight with three test dummies aboard.

The next launch attempt will not take place until Friday at the earliest.

As precious minutes ticked away, NASA repeatedly stopped and started the fueling of the Space Launch System rocket with nearly 1 million gallons of super-cold hydrogen and oxygen because of a leak of highly explosive hydrogen in the same place that saw seepage during a dress rehearsal back in the spring.

Then, NASA ran into new trouble when it was unable to properly chill one of the rocket’s four main engines, officials said. Engineers continued working to gather data and pinpoint the source of the problem after the launch postponement was announced.

The rocket was set to lift off on a mission to put a crew capsule into orbit around the moon. The launch represents a milestone in America’s quest to put astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo program ended 50 years ago.

The 322-foot spaceship is the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA, out-muscling even the Saturn V that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon.

As for when NASA might make another launch attempt, launch commentator Derrol Nail said the problem was still being analyzed, and “we must wait to see what shakes out from their test data.”

Mission overview

Orion’s journey will last 42 days as it travels to the moon, loops around it and returns to Earth — traveling a total of 1.3 million miles. The capsule will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego.

Video below: Lightning strikes towers at Artemis 1 launch pad, NASA says

While the passenger list does not include any humans, it does have passengers: three mannequins and a plush Snoopy toy will ride in Orion.

The crew aboard Artemis I may sound a little unusual, but they each serve a purpose. Snoopy will serve as the zero gravity indicator — meaning that he will begin to float inside the capsule once it reaches the space environment.

The mannequins, named Commander Moonkin Campos, Helga and Zohar, will measure deep space radiation future crews could experience and test a new suit and shielding technology. A biology experiment carrying seeds, algae, fungi and yeast is tucked inside Orion to measure how life reacts to this radiation as well.

Cameras inside and outside of Orion will share images and video throughout the mission, including live views from the Callisto experiment, which will capture a stream of Commander Moonikin Campos sitting in the commander’s seat. If you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you can ask it about the mission’s location each day.

Expect to see views of Earthrise, similar to what was shared during Apollo 8 for the first time, but with much better cameras and technology.

Science experiments and technology demonstrations are riding in a ring on the rocket. The 10 small satellites, called CubeSats, will detach and go their separate ways to collect information on the moon and the deep space environment.

The inaugural mission of the Artemis program will kick off a phase of space exploration that lands diverse astronaut crews at previously unexplored regions of the moon and eventually delivers crewed missions to Mars.

The rocket and spacecraft will be tested and put through their paces for the very first time before they carry astronauts to the moon on Artemis II and Artemis III, slated for 2024 and 2025 respectively.

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