NASA has said it will aim to launch Artemis I, the first integrated test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, within a two-hour window on Saturday, 3 September starting at 2:17 p.m. EDT.

Mission managers met on Tuesday to discuss data and develop a plan to address issues that arose during the failed launch attempt for the flight test.

“During that launch attempt, teams were not able to chill down the four RS-25 engines to approximately minus 420 degrees F, with engine 3 showing higher temperatures than the other engines,” NASA said.

“Teams also saw a hydrogen leak on a component of the tail service mast umbilical quick disconnect, called the purge can, and managed the leak by manually adjusting propellant flow rates.”

Favourable weather conditions

Teams will now modify and practice propellant loading procedures to follow a procedure similar that was successfully performed during the Green Run at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The updated procedures would perform the chilldown test of the engines, also called the kick start bleed test, about 30 to 45 minutes earlier in the countdown during the liquid hydrogen fast fill liquid phase for the core stage.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 have forecast favourable weather conditions for Saturday. While rain showers are expected, they are predicted to be sporadic during the launch window.

The mission management team will reconvene Thursday to review data and overall readiness.

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