The US space agency will now target September 3 as the new launch date for the Artemis I Moon mission that was scrubbed last Monday owing to technical glitch with one of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s engines.
NASA Mission managers met to discuss data and develop a forward plan to address issues that arose during the 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 Fahrenheit, with engine 3 showing higher temperatures than the other engines,” the space agency said in a statement late on Tuesday.
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.
“In the coming days, teams will modify and practice propellant loading procedures to follow a procedure similar to what was successfully performed during the Green Run at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi,” said NASA.
The updated procedures would perform the chill-down 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.
Teams also are configuring platforms at Launch Pad 39B to enable engineers access to the purge can on the tail service mast umbilical.
Once access is established, technicians will perform assessments and torque connection points where necessary, said NASA.
The Artemis I launch is part of a larger space programme to take astronauts back to the moon sometime after 2025. A first round trip test mission is to take place in about 42 days.