Artemis I moon rocket launch scrubbed after engine issue

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NASA postpones the launch of moon rocket Artemis I today after an engine bleed was discovered in one of the rocket’s four engines. 

The engine bleed was located in engine #3 during pre-launch testing. Along with other internal issues, less-than-favorable weather conditions played a part in the scrubbed launch.

“Once we got through the propellant loading on the rocket, both on core stage and the upper stage, they started the engine bleed,” said Artemis mission manager Mike Sarafin. “We talked in our flight readiness review about the engine bleed, we knew that that was a risk heading into this launch campaign and it would be the first time demonstrating that successfully.”

The Friday launch window is still in play for the Artemis rocket, but speculation has been limited as of now.

“We really need time to look at all the information, all the data. We’re going to play all nine innings here,” Artemis mission manager Mike Serafin says.

Artemis I was scheduled to launch on a mission to the moon today. The aim of the program is to return humans to the Moon for the first time since 1972.

When asked about the scrub, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said, “When you’re dealing in a high risk business and spaceflight is risky, that’s what you do. You buy down that risk, you make it as safe as possible and of course that is the whole reason for this test flight. To stress it and to test it, to make sure it’s as safe as possible when Artemis II, when we put humans on the spacecraft.”