Overview:

The Artemis I rocket launch was scrubbed after an engine issue. The launch is the beginning in setting up a permanent presence on the moon.

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Just 40 minutes prior to launch, NASA was forced to scrub the launch of Artemis, its unmanned space capsule. The capsule would have been launched to orbit the moon, with NASA planning to eventually create a permanent presence there.

The launch was scrubbed after NASA could not find a quick fix for one of the rocket’s engines. The countdown to launch had been moved into an unplanned hold before the team ultimately decided the engine issue was too serious to launch. “Launch controllers were continuing to evaluate why a bleed test to get the RS-25 engines on the bottom of the core stage to the proper temperature range for liftoff was not successful, and ran out of time in the two-hour launch window,” read a NASA statement

The next launch attempt is currently planned for September 2nd. However, the launch team is still working on figuring out the issue with the rocket’s engine. That troubleshooting process could potentially extend the waiting period for the next launch. NASA Administrator and former US Senator Bill Nelson made a statement on the scrub this morning. 

“We don’t launch until it’s right,” Nelson said. “They’ve got a problem with the gases going on the engine bleed on one engine. It’s just illustrative that this is a very complicated machine, a very complicated system, and all those things have to work. You don’t light the candle until it’s ready to go.” 

Nelson was also a former astronaut, and in 1986 he was one of the crew members on the 24th flight of the Space Shuttle

NASA is hopeful that the eventual launch can begin the process of scientific research and economic development on the moon. The Artemis I capsule will take 40 days to get to the moon, and will get as close 60 miles to it.

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Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson is a political commentator and a political science Ph.D. candidate at American University. His primary research focus is the impact of political institutions on the racial wealth gap.