NASA will attempt to launch its powerful new Moon rocket again on Saturday after postponing a test mission earlier this week, an official said.
Due to the failure of a test aimed to bring one of the rocket’s four RS-25 engines up to the necessary temperature range for the launch, Blastoff’s scheduled launch on Monday morning was postponed.
At a Tuesday media briefing, Mike Sarafin, the mission manager for NASA’s Artemis 1 spacecraft, announced the date for the upcoming launch attempt, a critical step in the US effort to return astronauts to the Moon.
The purpose of Artemis 1, which is named after Apollo’s twin sister, is to test the Orion crew capsule and the 322-foot (98-meter) Space Launch System rocket.
In place of astronauts, sensor-equipped mannequins will record the amount of acceleration, vibration, and radiation throughout the unmanned flight.
To determine whether the Orion spacecraft is soon safe for habitation, it will orbit the Moon. Artemis plans to place a woman and a person of colour on the Moon for the first time at some point in the future.