The US space agency, NASA, revealed that it will make a second attempt next Saturday to launch a rocket to the moon, 5 days after the first attempt failed due to technical problems.
The official confirmed that “it has already been agreed to postpone the launch date to Saturday, 3 September.”
Last Monday, NASA announced that it had canceled a planned test flight of the “Artemis 1” mission around the moon after a series of setbacks for what was supposed to be its “most powerful rocket ever.”
This included problems, an engine problem, a hydrogen leak, and inclement weather off the coast of Florida.
For his part, said Derol Nile, a representative of “NASA” for communications, during a live broadcast of the planned launch: “The problem that has emerged is the engine bleeding that cannot be addressed, but the missile is currently in a stable condition.”
NASA plans to launch the “Artemis 1” mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on the space launch system’s rocket and the “Orion” capsule, on a journey that lasts more than a month around the moon.
The unmanned launch marks the first appearance of the “most powerful rocket ever assembled” and NASA’s return to the lunar surface is the first mission in the agency’s Artemis program, which is expected to see astronauts land on the moon on its third mission in 2025.
While Artemis 1 will not carry astronauts, nor will it land on the Moon, the mission is critical to demonstrating that NASA’s massive rocket and deep space capsule can fulfill their promised capabilities.
The launch of “Artemis 1” was delayed for years, as the program exceeded billions of budget, and its mission represented a critical turning point in NASA’s moon plans.
Officials estimated in 2012 that the Space Launch System rocket would cost $6 billion to develop, with its debut in 2017.
However, it hasn’t been released yet, and after its development cost more than $20 billion, its launch price has ballooned to $4.1 billion from the $500 million initially estimated.