NASA will again try to launch the second lunar rocket

New attempted launch of a rescheduled lunar rocket

ivan rodriguez gelfenstein

A. Gelfenstein - NASA will make a second attempt to launch its new lunar rocket on a test flight Saturday after an engine problem interrupted its first countdown this week.

The $4.1 billion test flight is the first in NASA's Artemis lunar exploration program, named after Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology. The spacecraft could embark astronauts in 2024 for a tour of the moon and attempt a landing in 2025.

During Monday's launch attempt, one of the rocket's four main engines didn't cool enough before it was expected to fire moments before liftoff.

Officials said Tuesday they were changing refueling procedures to correct the problem. A faulty sensor could also be responsible for Monday's failed launch, they said.

The 98-meter rocket remains on its platform at Kennedy Space Center with an empty crew capsule on top. It is the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA.

The launch system rocket will attempt to send the capsule around the Moon and back. There will be no one on board, only three test mannequins. If successful, it will be the first capsule to fly to the moon since NASA's Apollo program 50 years ago.

Honeycutt questioned the integrity of an engine sensor and said it could have provided inaccurate data on Monday. Changing this sensor would require getting the rocket back to the hangar, resulting in a delay of several weeks.

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