From the US latest breaking news, the launch of NASA’s powerful new moon rocket on its shakedown flight with three test dummies aboard was scheduled for Monday morning, but fuel leaks and a potential fracture detected during final liftoff preparations raised the prospect of a delay.
NASA repeatedly stopped and began fueling the Space Launch System rocket with over 1 million gallons of ice-cold hydrogen and oxygen due to a leak as crucial minutes passed.
NASA Delays Launch of Moon Rocket Due to Fuel Leaks
The seepage that occurred during a dress rehearsal earlier in the spring coincided with the location of the leak.
Storms off Florida’s Kennedy Space Center already caused the fueling to be about an hour late.
The identical spot where seepage occurred during a dress rehearsal in the spring was where the leak first surfaced. Then, according to authorities, a second valve leak seemed to be present.
According to NASA officials, the core stage, which is the large orange fuel tank with the four main engines on it, was found to have a fracture or other issue later in the morning. Frost was also developing around the suspected region.
The rocket was prepared to launch on a mission to circle the moon with a crew capsule inside.
The launch is a significant step in America’s mission to return men to the moon for the first time since the Apollo program came to an end 50 years ago.
US latest breaking news shows that after several issues with the initial leak, NASA’s associate launch director, Jeremy Graeber, stated that the space agency will need to determine whether to proceed with the Monday morning launch.
The next attempt wouldn’t be until Friday at the earliest if Monday’s launch can’t proceed. The 322-foot rocket, which outperforms even the Saturn V that launched the Apollo astronauts to the moon, is the most potent NASA has ever created.
Instead, test dummies were strapped for the six-week trip, which was supposed to terminate with the capsule’s splashdown in the Pacific in October. The test dummies were equipped with sensors to assess vibration, radiation, and other variables.
Numerous crowds gathered along the coast to see the rocket launch despite the absence of any passengers. The VIPs were scheduled to include Vice President Kamala Harris.
The launch marks the beginning of NASA’s 21st-century moon exploration mission, which was given the name Artemis in honour of Apollo’s legendary twin sister.
Astronauts will embark on the second voyage and fly around the moon and return as early as 2024, assuming the test goes well.
US latest breaking news is By the end of 2025, a two-person lunar landing may take place.
A communication issue with the Orion capsule also needed to be resolved by launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and her crew.
An 11-minute hiccup in the communication channels between Launch Control and Orion late on Sunday forced engineers to scurry for an explanation. NASA needed to know what went wrong in order to proceed with the launch.
The issues on Monday brought up memories of NASA‘s space shuttle program when hydrogen fuel leaks in 1990 halted countdowns and delayed a number of missions. The next launch attempt won’t happen until at least Friday and might not happen until the beginning of next month.
Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, stated that “this is a really intricate machine, a very complicated system, and all those things have to function, and you don’t want to light the candle until it’s ready to go.”
The crew capsule was about to go into orbit above the moon thanks to the rocket, which would have placed the US one step closer to sending men back to the moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended 50 years ago.
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