The Artemis I launch has been scrubbed after the team was unable to work through an issue on one of the rocket’s four engines. The next launch opportunity is on September 2, but whether or not another attempt is made that day depends on how testing goes, CNN reports.
“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 launch team still needs to troubleshoot the engine issue and will keep the rocket in its current configuration to gather data and assess what needs to be done. Both the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, sitting on Launchpad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, remain stable, according to NASA officials.
Prior to the scrub, the countdown was extended into an unplanned hold as the launch team worked on a troubleshooting plan for one of the rocket’s four engines.
That’s because the launch team discovered an issue with an engine bleed in engine #3. Attempts to reconfigure it were unsuccessful.
During engine bleeds, hydrogen is cycled through the engine to condition it for launch. Three of the four engines are performing as expected, but engine #3 experienced an issue.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson addressed the scrub shortly after it was announced, stressing that Artemis I is a test flight.