NASA has rescheduled the launch of the Artemis I mission for September 3, 2022, after initially being delayed until September 2 due to engine problems.
The maiden launch of the world’s largest rocket, the SLS, and the Orion spacecraft, is now expected to take place during a launch window that starts at 2:17 PM ET (18:17 GMT).
This news marks yet another delay for NASA’s new Moon rocket after the launch procedure was stopped just 40 minutes before lift-off on August 29.
In a briefing on August 30, 2022, the agency explained that a faulty temperature sensor may have caused the problem.
During preparations for the launch on August 29, engine No. 3 did not cool down to the expected temperature, with the agency suspecting an insufficient flow of liquid hydrogen.
However, it now appears the problem occurred with the sensor rather than the engine.
Replacing the sensor while the rocket is on the launch pad would be difficult, so NASA will spend more time analyzing the data and consider the problems with the readings, Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said in the briefing.
We’re now targeting Saturday, Sept. 3 for the launch of the #Artemis I flight test around the Moon. The two-hour launch window opens at 2:17 p.m. ET (18:17 UTC). pic.twitter.com/MxwdcKHGdd— NASA (@NASA) August 30, 2022
Artemis I is the first step in NASA’s new Moon landing program. The mission will send the Orion spacecraft to overfly the Moon in preparation for crewed landings expected to commence in 2025.
The mission is also the first test flight of the SLS, the most powerful rocket ever constructed. Initially intended to lift-off in 2016, the SLS has been mired by problems and controversies.