HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — NASA will make another attempt this weekend to launch the historic Artemis I mission after the first attempt was scrubbed on Monday.
NASA says the next launch attempt is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3. The two-hour launch window is set to open at 2:17 p.m. ET.
NASA leaders didn’t give a clear reason for why they moved the second launch window from Friday to Saturday but did say they are hopeful that they’ve learned enough to make needed improvements before the next attempt.
“We agreed to operationally change the loading procedure and start our engine cool down earlier. We also agreed to move our launch date to Saturday, September 3rd,” says Mike Sarafin, Artemis Mission Manager.
The space agency scrubbed the first launch attempt on Monday after teams had trouble getting one of the four rs-25 engines on the bottom of the rocket’s core stage to the proper temperature range for liftoff.
Nasa officials say they believe there is an issue with the sensors that test the temperature of the liquid hydrogen in the engines.
“These sensors are not flighted instrumentations. They were designed only to be development flight instrumentations. And so we are a little bit concerned about one of those sensors,” says John Honeycutt, manager, Space Launch System (SLS) Program.
So to work around those possible sensor issues, teams will now analyze the data from Monday’s attempt to figure out the best way to calculate the engine temperatures from ground sensors, to ensure the engines fall under the launch parameters.
“We’ve got to continue pouring over the data, we’ve got to put the flight rationale together anticipating that we are not going to get any better results on that engine three leak temp sensor,” says Honeycutt.
NASA is moving the next launch window from Friday to Saturday, giving them a little over an extra 24 hours to review and reassess before their next attempt.
But the launch weather officer is predicting disruptions.
“I’m optimistic we will have some clear air to work with during the afternoon on Saturday, however again the probability of weather violation at any point during the countdown still looks to remain high,” says Mark Berger with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron.
That new window will open at 1:17 p.m. on Saturday and will close 2 hours later.
If they can’t launch Saturday, they’ll have one more opportunity next Monday, before they have to wheel the SLS back into the Vehicle Assembly Building and wait for a new launch window in late September.