Teams are moving forward to the Moon with a second launch attempt of the Artemis I mission on Saturday, 3 September. The two-hour launch window starts at 20:17 CEST (19:17 BST).
The original countdown stopped last Monday, 40 minutes before the targeted liftoff. The flight team took the decision to postpone the uncrewed launch after encountering issues cooling one of the four main engines, a valve glitch and a hydrogen leak.
Mission managers met Tuesday to discuss data and address issues that arose during that first launch attempt. In order to remedy the engine temperate issue, NASA’s launch teams at the Kennedy Space Center will begin chilling the rocket’s engines earlier in the countdown.
ESA’s European Service Module (ESM) remains ready to drive the Orion spacecraft onwards to the Moon. Though there is no crew aboard Artemis I, the ESM is designed to provide for astronauts’ basic needs, such as water, oxygen, nitrogen, temperature control, power and propulsion, taking the Orion capsule to its destination and back.
The countdown restarts for the first human-rated launch to the Moon in over half a century.
Watch the most powerful rocket ever built launch on 3 September from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. Follow the livestream on ESA Web TV starting at 18:15 CEST (17:15 BST). The launch window will run from 20:17 to 22:17 CEST.
In case of further delays, the next launch opportunity for the Artemis Moon mission is on 5 September, with more launch opportunities in the coming months.
This journey will serve as a test of both the Orion spacecraft and its SLS rocket ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. No crew will be on board Orion this time, and the spacecraft will be controlled by teams on Earth.