For the second time in five days, NASA has stopped the countdown and postponed the planned launch attempt of its giant next-generation rocket, “Artemis 1”, writes Reuters.
During refueling early this morning, an overpressure alarm sounded, and it was briefly suspended. No damage was found and refueling continued. Minutes later, however, hydrogen fuel began to leak from the engine section in the lower part of the rocket, Nova TV reported.
On Monday, a crack was discovered in the intermediate tank, part of the Artemis 1 rocket that connects the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks. There was also a problem with one of the four huge engines.
The purpose of the Artemis 1 mission is to launch the US program to return to the Moon, establish a permanent presence on the Moon and use it as a springboard for future missions to Mars. NASA hopes to send four astronauts into orbit around Earth’s natural satellite in 2024 and land a crew on its surface by 2025 at the earliest.