The maiden flight of NASA’s new SLS launch vehicle was scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida yesterday. However, an issue getting one of the rocket’s four RS-25 engines to the proper temperature range for liftoff forced a scrub of the launch attempt.
The uncrewed Artemis 1 mission is a test flight of the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. Once launched, the Cryogenic Upper Stage will break from Earth’s atmosphere and send Orion on a trip around the Moon. The mission will pave the way for the first crewed mission to the Moon since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.
The Artemis 1 launch attempt on August 29 was scrubbed within 60 minutes of its liftoff when NASA teams were unable to resolve a hydrogen bleed line issue with one of the rocket’s Engine #3.
During a briefing several hours after the launch was scrubbed, agency officials said that they were still trying to find the root cause of the anomaly. As a result, the agency was not willing to state whether or not the rocket would need to be rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Agency officials have, however, not ruled out the possibility of the launch occurring in a backup launch window set to open up later this week. “we’re preserving the option for Friday,” said Artemis 1 mission manager Mike Sarafin.
NASA has set a press briefing for 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 30 to discuss the agency’s next steps.