Artemis I Mission: NASA encounters leak during Cryogenic tanking test to confirm hydrogen leak repairs
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - NASA said its team encountered a hydrogen leak during the tanking test for the Artemis I rocket Wednesday morning. The leak was found at the quick disconnect between the tail service mast umbilical and the rocket, officials said in a tweet.
The space agency uncovered the leak during a test adding super-cooled fuel to the rocket to confirm the repairs, as it prepares for another attempt to launch the rocket to the moon later this month. The launch was scrubbed twice due to hydrogen leaks and other technological issues.
Watch the tanking test live in the video player below:
NASA is targeting Sept. 27 to launch the moon rocket from Cape Canaveral if the issues have been repaired. A backup date is planned for Oct. 2, which is under review.
NASA replaced leaky seals in Artemis I at the pad in hopes of launching it on its first test flight by the end of this month. A series of hydrogen fuel leaks and other problems halted back-to-back launch attempts last week.
The Space Launch System rocket — the most powerful ever built by NASA — holds a crew capsule with three test dummies.
The space agency wants to send the capsule into lunar orbit on a trial run, before putting astronauts on the next flight, in 2024. That around-the-moon mission would pave the way for the first human moon landing in 50 years, currently scheduled for 2025.
The 70-minute launch window on Sept. 27 is scheduled to open at 11:30 a.m. If postponed to Oct. 2, that launch window would be 109 minutes and would open at 2:52 p.m.
Running years late and billions over budget, NASA’s new lunar exploration program is named Artemis after Apollo’s twin sister in Greek mythology. Twelve astronauts walked on the moon back in the late 1960s and early 1970s during NASA’s Apollo program.