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NASA aims for Saturday launch of new moon rocket: Take 2

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA will strive once more Saturday to launch its new moon rocket on a take a look at flight, after engine trouble halted the primary countdown this week.

Managers mentioned Tuesday they’re altering fueling procedures to cope with the problem.

The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket stays on its pad at Kennedy House Middle, with an empty crew capsule on prime. It’s essentially the most highly effective rocket ever constructed by NASA.

The House Launch System rocket, or SLS, will try and ship the capsule across the moon and again. Nobody can be aboard, simply three take a look at dummies. If profitable, it will likely be the primary capsule to fly to the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years in the past.

Throughout Monday’s launch try, one of many 4 fundamental engines within the rocket’s core stage couldn’t be chilled sufficiently previous to deliberate ignition moments earlier than liftoff. The three others got here up just a bit quick.

The chilling operation can be carried out a half-hour earlier for Saturday afternoon’s strive, as soon as fueling is underway on the pad, officers mentioned.

John Honeycutt, NASA’s program supervisor for the rocket, advised reporters that the timing of this engine chilldown was earlier throughout profitable testing final yr, and so shifting it sooner might do the trick.

Honeycutt additionally questioned the integrity of 1 engine sensor, saying it may need offered inaccurate information Monday. To vary that sensor, he famous, would imply hauling the rocket again into the hangar, which might imply weeks of delay.

The $4.1 billion take a look at flight is the opening shot in NASA’s Artemis moon-exploration program, named after the dual sister of Apollo in Greek mythology. Astronauts may strap in as quickly as 2024 for a lap across the moon and really try a lunar touchdown in 2025.

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The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Training. The AP is solely accountable for all content material.

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