New Date For NASA Artemis I Launch Soon. Know Why It Was Put Off

New Date For NASA Artemis I Launch Soon. Know Why It Was Put Off

The launch of Artemis I on Monday, August 29, was scrubbed due to a technical problem with one of the engines of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. As a result, the first leg of NASA’s Moon mission has been postponed. 

NASA said in a mission update that the US space agency will keep everyone posted on the timing of the next launch attempt.

The launch of #Artemis I is no longer happening today as teams work through an issue with an engine bleed. Teams will continue to gather data, and we will keep you posted on the timing of the next launch attempt.

— NASA (@NASA) August 29, 2022

The launch director halted Monday’s launch attempt of Artemis I at approximately 8:34 am EDT (6:04 pm IST). 

After the launch of Artemis I was called off on Monday, NASA said that Artemis teams are working through an issue with engine number 3 of SLS, and expect to give a news briefing soon.

A few hours before the launch attempt, NASA engineers were troubleshooting a conditioning issue with one of the RS-25 engines of the SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket. Launch controllers increased the pressure on the core stage tanks to condition the engines, and to cause some of the cryogenic propellant to bleed to the engines. This is an important step because it ensures the engines can reach the proper temperature range to get started.

However, NASA teams observed an issue with the bleeding of engine number 3. As a result, the mission was scrubbed. 

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Josef Aschbacher, the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), wrote on Twitter that launches are always “better safe than sorry”. He further said that it is important the launch teams feel “100% comfortable” with launch, every time, and there should be no exceptions. He added that he is confident there will soon be a new launch date for Artemis I. 

Launches are always better safe than sorry. It’s important the launch teams feel 100% comfortable with launch, every time, no exceptions. I am confident we will have a new launch date soon!

— Josef Aschbacher (@AschbacherJosef) August 29, 2022

In a media briefing following the scrub, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “We don’t launch until it is right.”

Nelson explained that NASA teams observed a problem with the engine bleed. He also said that Artemis I is a very “complicated mission”, and has complicated systems, all of which have to work. 

“You don’t light the candle until it’s ready to go,” Nelson said.