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NASA targets Saturday for next Artemis I launch attempt

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA has scheduled Saturday for the launch of Artemis I, following Monday’s scrub.

The space agency has set a two-hour launch window for 2:17 p.m. EDT. The launch is the first integrated test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System rocket, and the ground systems at the Kennedy Space Center.

Mission managers met Tuesday to discuss data and develop a forward plan to address issues that arose during Monday’s launch attempt.

During the attempt, teams were not able to chill down the four RS-25 engines to approximately minus 420 degrees F – engine 3 showed higher temperatures than the other engines. Teams also saw a hydrogen leak on a component of the tail service mast umbilical quick disconnect, called the purge can, and managed the leak by manually adjusting propellant flow rates.

This week, teams will modify and practice the propellant loading procedures. The updated procedures would perform the chilldown test of the engines about 30 to 45 minutes earlier in the countdown.

Teams also are configuring platforms at Launch Pad 39B to enable engineers access to the purge can. Then, technicians will perform assessments and torque connection points where necessary.

Meteorologists predict favorable weather conditions for Saturday. While rain showers are expected, they are predicted to be sporadic during the launch window.

The mission management team will reconvene Thursday to review data and overall readiness.

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