NASA’s Artemis I moon rocket returns to pad for another launch attempt
NASA's moon rocket is back on the pad for another launch attempt after further repairs. The 322-foot (98-metre) rocket took off from its hangar at midnight and finished the four-mile (6.4-kilometre) journey on Friday just before daybreak. On 14 November, NASA plans to try a launch, sending an empty crew capsule on a spectacular test voyage around the moon and back before passengers board in a few years. Forecasters are keeping a look out for any potentially disruptive tropical weather.
To put people back on the moon by 2025, NASA has taken its largest move to date. The last time the space agency sent a person to the moon was with Apollo 17 in December 1972, almost 50 years ago.
Since August, fuel leaks have prevented the rocket from taking off. At the end of September, Hurricane Ian forcibly brought the rocket back to the hangar at the Kennedy Space Center. During the period, NASA performed maintenance and changed vital batteries.
According to senior manager Cliff Lanham, engineers are confident they can handle any potential leaks even though NASA is still unsure about why hydrogen is leaking every time the rocket is fuelled.
Nearly a month will pass during the $4.1 billion mission, which will end with a splashdown in the Pacific. To assess vibrations and radiation, test dummies are on board.