The US space agency had to reschedule after a serious engine failure was noticed just before launch
NASA has set a new launch date for its Artemis moon mission, hoping to send its rocket into space Saturday after an earlier attempt failed earlier this week. Moon mission manager Mike Sarafin announced the new date at a press conference on Tuesday and said the Artemis team had met earlier in the day to plan the next launch.
“We will reconvene the mission management team on Thursday, September 1, to review our flight reasons and our overall preparedness,” Sarafin said, adding: “We also agreed to do some work on the trail to address the leak we saw and we also agreed to move our launch date to Saturday, September 3.”
Although the space agency has chosen Saturday as a tentative launch date, Space Force weather launch officer Mark Burger warned that conditions may not be ideal.
“The probability of weather violations at any point in the countdown still seems quite high to me,” he said at the same press conference, adding that while there is a 60% chance bad weather will prevent the launch, “I still think we have a pretty good chance.”
Although the Artemis mission was originally intended to take off on Monday, a major problem with one of the rocket’s four liquid-fuel engines was detected just hours before launch, allowing NASA engineers to troubleshoot the malfunction.
The rocket, the largest ever built by NASA, will be unscrewed for the mission and will orbit the moon for more than a month, collecting valuable data about Earth’s only natural satellite. If successful, the mission will be followed by Artemis II, a manned flight to the moon, NASA’s first flight since the 1970s.