SCRUBBED: Fuel leak foils NASA’s second launch attempt of Artemis I

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Just before 11:30am, NASA Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson called off Saturday’s attempt to get the Artemis I mission off the ground.

The NASA Artemis I team had been troubleshooting a fuel leak since around 7:15am.  The issue cropped up during tanking operations of the liquid hydrogen propellant.

At 7:24am, NASA posted on its website, “Engineers detected a liquid hydrogen leak in a quick disconnect cavity and have stopped flowing the propellant to the core stage while they troubleshoot. Launch controllers are attempting to warm up the quick disconnect to attempt to reseat it to get a tight seal.”

Each time engineers increased the pressure on the flow of liquid hydrogen into the core stage, the leak returned. They performed multiple unsuccessful procedures before making the no-go decision.

Now mission managers will review the data from today’s attempt and decide what to do next.

Previously, the NASA team stated they could try to launch again on Monday, Labor Day, at 5:12pm.  However, it’s not clear as of this writing if they will proceed ahead with a third launch attempt on Monday or perhaps roll the mega moon rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for more in-depth examination.

Artemis I is the test mission for the Space Launch System and Orion space capsule which will return humans to the Moon and eventually take astronauts to Mars.

NASA is expected to hold a briefing at 4pm on Saturday.  Check back for updates later.  

About Denise Vickers

Denise is the director of the Innovation News Center and WUFT News at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications.

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