After canceling a test flight earlier this week, NASA will attempt to launch its potent new Moon rocket again on Saturday, a NASA official said.
The NASA team “decided to move our launch date to Saturday, September the third,” according to mission manager Mike Sarafin.
Blastoff was supposed to launch on Monday morning but was postponed due to the failure of a test to bring one of the rocket’s four RS-25 engines up to the required temperature range for takeoff.
Tuesday’s media event saw Sarafin reveal the new launch date, and NASA afterwards tweeted that the two-hour launch window on Saturday will start at 2:17 p.m. (1817 GMT).
Although there is still a “very good opportunity” to launch on Saturday, according to launch weather officer Mark Burger, there is a 60% probability of rain or thunderstorms on the day of the launch.
The purpose of Artemis 1, which is named for Apollo’s twin sister, is to test the Orion crew capsule and the 322-foot (98-meter) Space Launch System rocket.
50 years after the last Moon landing by Apollo 17 astronauts, tens of thousands of spectators, including US Vice President Kamala Harris, had assembled to watch the launch.
The primary stage’s hydrogen filling was halted when a suspected leak was discovered. Following tests, the flow continued.
The Space Launch System program manager, John Honeycutt, stated that the sensor’s behavior “doesn’t fit up with the physics of the situation” and added that such sensor problems were “not particularly unusual.”
To determine whether the Orion spacecraft is soon safe for habitation, it will orbit the Moon. Artemis plans to place a woman and a person of color on the Moon for the first time at some point in the future.
The heat shield will have to endure speeds of 25,000 miles per hour and temperatures of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius) on its return to Earth’s atmosphere—roughly half as hot as the Sun.
The Artemis program, which is already years behind schedule, is anticipated to cost NASA $93 billion between 2012 and 2025, or $4.1 billion for each launch.