- The first launch of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket was delayed on Monday because of an engine issue.
- NASA’s next launch opportunity is Friday, September 2, but it’s not clear if the engine issue can be resolved by then.
- Artemis I is a 42-day test flight that will set the stage for future Artemis missions with astronauts.
After a long-awaited run-up to the day NASA’s moon rocket was supposed to blast off from Earth, the mission’s launch was delayed due to an engine issue.
Just 40 minutes before liftoff, NASA froze the launch countdown to inspect a suspicious difference in temperature on one of the RS-25 engines as they all went through the routine process of bleeding hydrogen. Engine number 3 wasn’t matching its three counterparts.
“The issue that came up was an engine bleed that couldn’t be remedied, but the rocket is currently in a stable configuration. It was mostly tanked [with fuel], but not completely tanked,” Derrol Nail, NASA spokesperson said during live commentary on Monday. “We held at T-40 minutes and counting after the team was unable to get past an engine bleed that didn’t show the right temperature once they got into the engine bleed test.”