NASA locks in a second launch attempt for Artemis I
NASA has dusted itself off from the cancelled launch of Artemis I earlier this week and set a new date for a second attempt. The announcement comes after a review of data from Monday's efforts, and sets the stage for lift-off this coming Saturday afternoon local time.
The Orion capsule and Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, were ferried out to the launchpad in mid-August in a dramatic buildup to Artemis I. This uncrewed mission will fire the Orion capsule into orbit around the Moon and far beyond, before returning Earth. The mission is designed to validate the spacecraft's systems for deep space travel, and will send it deeper into space than any human-rated spacecraft before it.
With its safe arrival and some final checks ticked off, the mission was set to lift off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Monday August 29. But it wasn't to be, with NASA calling off the launch due to a problem with one of the rocket engines, which the team was unable to bring down into the temperature range necessary for liftoff.
NASA engineers met on Tuesday to review the data from the scrubbed attempt, and have now put plans in place to proceed with a second attempt. Over the next few days, the team will made adjustments to the propellant loading process designed to sufficiently cool the rocket engines, and will test those procedures 30 to 45 minutes earlier on the day to ensure everything is in working order.
The two-hour launch window for the second attempt opens at 2:17pm EDT time on Saturday, September 3.