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NASA Scrubs Moonship Launch


In this photo provided by NASA, NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B, Aug. 30, 2022, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

UPDATED: For the second time in five days, NASA on Saturday halted a countdown in progress and postponed a planned attempt to launch the debut test flight of its giant, next-generation rocket in the first mission of the agency's moon-to-Mars Artemis program. But the next attempt won't be soon.

The sun rose today at Cape Canaveral, but not NASA's moonship, Artemis 1.

The latest attempt to launch the 32-story-tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion capsule was scrubbed after repeated failed attempts to fix a leak of super-cooled liquid hydrogen propellant being pumped into the fuel tanks.

Pre-flight operations were officially called off about three hours before the targeted two-hour launch window was due to open at 2:17 p.m. EDT (1817 GMT).

Late Saturday, NASA announced that a third attempt to launch would not occur in the coming days.

The current launch period for the Artemis 1 mission "ends on Tuesday. We will not be launching in this launch period," said Jim Free, associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA.

Last Monday's launch attempt was foiled by a different leaky fuel line, a faulty temperature sensor and some cracks in insulation foam. NASA officials said those issues had been previously resolved to their satisfaction.

NASA chief Bill Nelson said there was a chance that the rocket might be rolled back to its assembly building for further trouble-shooting and repairs.

If that occurs, the next launch attempt would be postponed until October, he said.

This report has information from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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