Breaking News
More () »

NASA reschedules launch of Artemis I moon rocket for Saturday

The two-hour launch window will open at 2:17 p.m. ET. Monday's scheduled launch was scrubbed due to an issue with one of the rocket's engines.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA officials have announced that their next attempt to launch Artemis I will be on Saturday, September 3. The two-hour launch window will open at 2:17 p.m. ET.

The announcement came during a teleconference briefing on Tuesday evening.

Monday's scheduled launch was scrubbed due to an issue getting one of the four engines on the bottom of the rocket's core stage to the proper temperature range for liftoff. 

Artemis Mission Manager Mike Sarafin said the team plans to change their procedure of loading propellant into the rocket. They also plan to conduct the engine chilldown process earlier in the countdown than what had been done prior to Monday's launch attempt.

John Honeycutt, NASA's program manager for the rocket, told reporters that the timing of this engine chilldown was earlier during successful testing last year, and so moving it sooner may do the trick.

Honeycutt also questioned the integrity of one engine sensor, saying it might have provided inaccurate data Monday. To change that sensor, he noted, would mean hauling the rocket back into the hangar, which would mean weeks of delay.

In addition to concerns about the engine, NASA officials say weather may be a factor in whether or not the launch will take place on Saturday. According to Space Force weather launch officer Mark Burger, there is a 60% chance that a weather violation will take place that would potentially prevent the launch.

The Artemis I lunar mission will feature the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket propelling the unmanned Orion spacecraft into orbit around the moon. The six-week mission is scheduled to end with the capsule returning to Earth in a splashdown in the Pacific in October.

The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket remains on its pad at Kennedy Space Center, with an empty crew capsule on top. It's the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA.

The mission will be the first flight in NASA's Artemis project, a quest to put astronauts back on the moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended 50 years ago. NASA says through its Artemis missions, they will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, "paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone on the way to the Moon." 

You can listen to Tuesday's teleconference below:

More coverage of Artemis 1:

Before You Leave, Check This Out