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Artemis I Launch Scrubbed after Leak in Engine Discovered

Artemis I Launch Scrubbed after Leak in Engine Discovered

NASA is now eyeing Friday, September 2 at 12:48 pm ET for the second attempt.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials scrubbed the first attempt to launch its Artemis I mission launch after a problem with a hydrogen bleed line in one of its four core stage engines was uncovered.

NASA called off the launch shortly after the scheduled 8:33 a.m. Eastern liftoff after spending more than two and a half hours attempting to resolve a problem flowing liquid hydrogen into one of four main engines in the rocket’s core stage to prepare them for the planned launch.

NASA encountered an issue with the “hydrogen kickstart” of the four RS-25 engines, where liquid hydrogen is flowed through the engines for thermal conditioning ahead of launch. That system was not tested in the final wet dress rehearsal in June because of a leak in a quick-disconnect fitting, and was something project officials said they would test earlier than planned in the launch countdown.

The hydrogen kickstart worked on three of the four engines, but on the fourth, designated engine #3, controllers did not see the flow of liquid hydrogen they expected. They took several measures to try to increase that flow, including shutting off the flow in the other three engines to increase the pressure for engine #3, without success.

NASA then called for an unplanned hold at T-40 minutes, originally scheduled to last 10 minutes, to work on a troubleshooting plan for the engine. After more than an hour, NASA scrubbed the launch but planned to collect additional data before unloading the liquid hydrogen and oxygen propellants from the core and upper stages.

This mission represents the space agency’s first step in returning to the moon for the first time since 1972.

The test mission—along with a series of planned follow-up flights in the years ahead—largely hinges on NASA’s Space Launch System, a 322-foot-tall rocket, and the Orion spacecraft, which will carry crew members on future lunar missions.

…NASA aims to take Orion around the moon and back on a roughly six-week trek. The stakes are high for NASA and the roster of aerospace manufacturers that helped design and construct the Artemis hardware, a multibillion-dollar program whose cost has drawn criticism. NASA and aerospace companies including Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are eager to show that they can pull off big, ambitious projects as the commercial space industry gathers momentum.

Reports show a new launch date of September 2nd has been set. But that may be a bit optimistic.

‘I am skeptical they will try again on Friday, I think the delay is likely to be longer’ [said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics].

NASA, which acknowledged the engine was not tested, said it will collect data on the engine bleed and depending on what is gathered, the agency will attempt another launch on Friday at 12:48pm ET.

‘We don’t launch until it’s right,’ NASA administrator Bill Nelson said after an engine temperature issue forced liftoff from Kennedy Space Center to be scrubbed.

‘This is a very complicated machine,’ Nelson said. ‘You don’t want to light the candle until it’s ready to go.’

The delay disappoints the crowds of spectators who came to watch the live launch, as well as those who woke up early to watch it televised.

Americans are excited about returning to the moon. Here’s hoping the next attempt is successful.


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2smartforlibs | August 29, 2022 at 1:13 pm

Seems NASA needs to spend more time on the mechanics and less on pronouns.

The Curse of Kamala: Vice President Harris’s Desperate Winless Streak Continues After NASA Scrubs Artemis Launch:
Harris, who chairs the administration’s National Space Council, had planned to attend the launch with second gentleman Doug Emhoff and deliver a speech about the United States’ leadership in space and historic nature of the Artemis missions. The purpose of the missions are to land a black person and woman on the moon.

Another Biden success!

Should have hired more black women I guess

NASA is utterly incompetent and worthless and has been for decades at this point. Just like every other government department, they have a ridiculously bloated bureaucracy which is nothing but a jobs program for diverse jackasses that are unemployable in the private sector. The small handful of actual quality people they have are mostly tasked with monitoring the stuff that has been subcontracted out.

NASA is a joke.

    broomhandle in reply to Olinser. | August 29, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    You are not incorrect but go easy on NSAS. It’s not their fault. ASA policies are controlled by politicians and if the right politicians were in charge NASA could be better than it ever has been and could accomplish a manned Mars mission. And the technical hierarchy would certainly re-establish itself in the process.

Maybe we should kill NASA’s attempt and let private firms do it like SpaceX.

Instead of wasting money on woke and corrupt efforts.

    broomhandle in reply to PrincetonAl. | August 29, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    I think having a properly functioning NASA is still worth fighting for. It will always be tempting to vacate any place wokeness pollutes but conceding territory to them can’t be a long-term solution. NASA should be doing things non-government institutions cannot do or do alone such as NTR. When space travel is as routine as air travel then maybe we don’t need a government capability to put people in space, but until then I want it there. I don’t want to leave everything up to Elon Musk’s whims and his competitors are even less far along.

NASA, which acknowledged the engine was not tested, said it will collect data on the engine bleed


But trust us

Not so much and certainly not sound scientific sense, or even common sense.

imagine how far our competency and abilities would have been if we hadn’t scraped our Space Program

And we can once again thank President Trump for renewing it once again…

It’s better to scrub a launch than pick up the pieces. My honest thanks to the decision-maker.

NASA has lost most of its institutional memory. This was an action by a hostile President.

In early 2010, President Obama announced that he was cancelling NASA’s Constellation program. The program — including its Ares I and Ares V rockets, the Orion spacecraft, and the Altair lunar lander — were designed to bring American scientists back to the Moon, and forward onto Mars.

While Congress was able to salvage some of the Constellation program, setting the stage for our next president to restore the program, the Obama adminitration turned NASA’s focus towards a much less awe-inspiring goal: Combating “global warming.”

During the Obama administration, NASA’s focus on earth sciences has risen 41 percent, while its core focus of space exploration has been essentially gutted. In 2012, 49 former NASA astronauts and scientists petitioned NASA to cease its advocacy of “extreme” positions relating to the environment.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Valerie. | August 29, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    Well, Pres Obama did say he would “fundamentally transform this country.” He was less specific on into what, and what might come of that.

    r2468 in reply to Valerie. | August 29, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    Earth science was an 8th grade class but physics was definitely a challenge. /s

      lichau in reply to r2468. | August 29, 2022 at 7:54 pm

      I was a space race kid. Graduated high school 1961. We were given some sort of STEM oriented aptitude test about every three months. Heavy emphasis/recruitment. My first day of EE in college, we had an assembly of all entering freshman. We were told to shake hands with the person next to us–one of us likely wouldn’t make it through the first year. Four years later, the graduating class was 110.

      I am thoroughly convinced most of our current Establishment didn’t get a C or better in high school Physics.

Maybe for the 2nd attempt they can replace the mannequin dummies w/ Joe, Kamala, Nancy & Mayor Pete.

Folks, no need for disappointment. I am sure the project team was sufficiently diverse, proper pronouns were used, and there was extensive Islamic outreach.

So by today’s metrics, this project is a smashing success even if it never (literally) gets off the ground!

Another government department plagued by leaks.

That pretty much sums up the competence of NASA. They’ve fallen a long way the last few decades.

SLS sure is doing great. Remember when they were trying to compete with the Falcon Heavy? Good Times. Now they’re just trying to beat Starship.

I vividly recall getting up at 0400, or so, (West Coast) to watch I was 13, fully engaged with the space race.


Brings back memories, for sure.

This kind of stuff makes one wonder. We could put a man on the moon in 1969; today we can’t launch a booster.

It was a minor fault, could have been another o-ring, but it wasn’t. Good work.

E Howard Hunt | August 29, 2022 at 11:04 pm

Isn’t there a restroom in that big rocket? Geesh

BierceAmbrose | August 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Govt programs seem to be good at leaking things.