NASA’s Artemis I moon mission was postponed after problems with one of the rocket’s four engines, the agency reported early Monday.
“We don’t launch until it’s right,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “They’ve got a problem with the gases going on the engine bleed on one engine. It’s just illustrative that this is a very complicated machine, a very complicated system, and all those things have to work. ” Nelsen noted.
The next opportunity to send the historic test flight is September 2, pending on further testing.
Both the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft sitting on Launchpad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are ready for the next opportunity, NASA said.
Orion’s journey is planned to last 42 days as it loops around the moon and returns to Earth as it travels across 1.3 million miles. Only mannequins are on board the spacecraft.
The inaugural mission of the Artemis program is expected to kick off a new phase of space exploration that eventually might deliver crewed missions to Mars.
The rocket and spacecraft will be tested before they carry astronauts to the moon on Artemis II and Artemis III, slated for 2024 and 2025 respectively.