NASA calls off its Artemis 1 moon rocket launch due to hydrogen leak


NASA scrubbed its second attempt to launch its Artemis 1 test flight on a long-awaited mission to send an unpiloted Orion crew capsule on a 37-day trip around the moon and back.

With a forecast calling for a 60% chance of favorable weather, engineers began fueling the Space Launch System rocket at around 6 a.m. EDT Saturday, setting the stage for blastoff at 2:17 p.m., the opening of a two-hour window.

The Saturday launch, however, was canceled due to a hydrogen leak. The decision was announced at 11:18 a.m. EDT, about 25 minutes after the team recommended “no go” for launch.

Launch was initially scheduled for Monday morning, but NASA ran into problems during fueling, forcing the agency to scrub just as the launch window was opening. 

The Space Launch System moon rocket atop pad 39B on Monday morning, August 29, 2022, awaiting blastoff on a mission to send an uncrewed Orion capsule on a 42-day shakedown flight beyond the moon and back.


The SLS rocket — the most powerful booster NASA and its contractors have ever built — has 489 launch commit criteria that have to be met to permit a liftoff.

“We’ve got a whole host of things that could cause us to not get off on any given day,” mission manager Mike Sarafin told reporters at a Thursday evening news conference. “There’s no guarantee we’re going to get off (Saturday). But we’re going to show up, and we’re going to try, and we’re going to give it our best.”



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