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NASA postpones Artemis 1 launch to Friday as technical issues spoil first attempt

The team ran into an unexpected snag with one of the RS-25 engines on the SLS. During the conditioning process to thermally insulate the four engines, one of them failed to maintain proper cooling as expected.

August 30, 2022 / 12:05 PM IST
Representative image .

Representative image .

NASA, the US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has delayed the launch of a new space mission, Artemis 1, after unexpected problems with one of the rocket engines forced NASA to call off the launch.

Artemis 1 was supposed to be the big debut for the space agency's new rocket ship that the agency plans to use for flights to the moon, 50 years after its last lunar mission. This would have been the maiden voyage for NASA's new Space Launch Vehicle (SLS) and the Orion astronaut capsule.

Why was it called off? The team ran into an unexpected snag with one of the RS-25 engines on the SLS. During the conditioning process to thermally insulate the four engines, one of them failed to maintain proper cooling as expected.

The NASA mission director signed off on a plan to troubleshoot the engine but eventually "scrubbed" the launch after it became apparent that it will not work as intended.

“We don’t launch until it’s right,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an webcast after the launch was called off. He said the SLS was a, "very complicated machine, a very complicated system, and all those things have to work. And you don’t want to light the candle until it’s ready to go.”

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The mission was primarily a test for the new SLS system, which will eventually carry astronauts onboard for a mission scheduled for 2024. The Artemis program's eventual goal is to establish a long-term lunar base on the Earth's satellite, which will act as a stepping stone to more complex missions to Mars.
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