NASA postponed the launch of the Artemis I lunar mission due to an issue with an engine bleed.
The launch of the agency’s mega moon rocket and integrated Orion spacecraft was initially scheduled at 8:33 am on Monday Eastern Daylight Time (1233 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The approximately two-day countdown for launch began Saturday, and was waved off after encountering an issue getting one of the four RS-25 engines on the bottom of the rocket’s core stage to the proper temperature range for liftoff, said NASA.
“The launch of Artemis I is no longer happening today as teams work through an issue with an engine bleed. Teams will continue to gather data,” NASA tweeted.
Engine 3 is not properly being conditioned through the bleed process, and engineers are troubleshooting, said NASA.
Launch controllers were continuing to evaluate why a bleed test to get the RS-25 engines on the bottom of the core stage to the proper temperature range for liftoff was not successful, and ran out of time in the two-hour launch window, according to an update from NASA. “Engineers are continuing to gather additional data.”
The next opportunity to send the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft on their journey is Friday, September 2, according to NASA. The next window beyond is next Monday, September 5.
The uncrewed launch is the first mission in NASA’s Artemis lunar program, which is expected to land the agency’s astronauts on the moon by its third mission in 2025.