NASA has called off the launch of 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.
The uncrewed flight test around the Moon will eventually pave the way for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration as part of Artemis.
The SLS rocket was targeted to launch during a two-hour window starting at 8.33am EDT on Monday 29 August, from Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy.
However it was waved off on Monday 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”.
Launch pad livestream
The rocket and spacecraft arrived at its launch pad on Wednesday after the nearly 10-hour, four-mile trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building.
The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation to extend human presence to the Moon and beyond.
The mission will demonstrate the performance of the SLS rocket and test Orion’s capabilities over the course of about six weeks as it travels about 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and back to Earth.
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