On August 29, NASA worked its way through the countdown for the first launch attempt of the SLS rocket with the Artemis 1 mission. A few issues delayed the count, and ultimately led to the teams scrubbing the launch. So when will NASA attempt to launch their most powerful rocket?
Update: NASA to attempt launch on Saturday, September 3
On the media teleconference, NASA stated that they will change the engine chill down procedures to start earlier and make some changes at the pad to combat the hydrogen leak and accommodate a launch attempt. With those changes, they will attempt launch on Saturday, September 3.
Original story, as written the morning of August 30.
Mondays launch attempt was officially scrubbed shortly after the two hour window opening at 8:33 a.m. opened. As of now, the earliest that NASA teams can target for the launch is this Friday, September 2, with the window opening at 12:48 p.m. ET.
While this is the earliest possible opportunity, we do not yet know if NASA’s launch teams will attempt to make use of this window. For the time being, they are working on troubleshooting the issues that led to the scrubbing of Mondays Artemis 1 launch attempt.
While cooling down the four RS-25 engines, which all previously flew on Space Shuttles, engine number three would not bleed the cryogenic propellant needed to cool down sufficiently. This wasn’t the only issue seen during the count, as the teams also found what appears to be a crack in the thermal protection system (the insulation foam) on one of the flanges of the orange core stage and worked through a hydrogen leaks on the hydrogen fill line and a valve on the intertank.
We will get more information, and a more firm date on when NASA may attempt to launch the SLS rocket on the Artemis 1 mission, during a press conference at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30. During that conference, teams will provide more information and analysis on exactly what went wrong and what steps will be taken to address the concerns. At that time, we should have a better idea on when SLS will lift off for its test flight.