NASA is replacing leaky seals at its moon rocket’s launch pad in hopes of a successful first test flight by the end of September after a series of hydrogen fuel leaks and other problems halted back-to-back launch attempts last week.
NASA fixing moon rocket leaks, hoping for September launch attempt
NASA is replacing leaky seals in its moon rocket at the pad in hopes of launching it on its first test flight by the end of September.
Managers say they will conduct another test after the repairs to ensure all hydrogen fuel leaks are plugged. If that test goes well — and if the Space Force extends a flight safety waiver — then NASA could take another stab at launching the 98-metre rocket later this month. Otherwise, the rocket will return to the hangar for additional work, delaying liftoff until at least October.
A series of hydrogen fuel leaks and other problems halted back-to-back launch attempts last week.
The Space Launch System rocket — the most powerful ever built by NASA — holds a crew capsule with three test dummies. The space agency wants to send the capsule into lunar orbit on a trial run, before putting astronauts on the next flight, in 2024. That around-the-moon mission would pave the way for the first human moon landing in 50 years, currently scheduled for 2025.