A NASA rocket launch scheduled for Saturday afternoon has been plagued by technical troubles in the hours before takeoff.
For the second time this week a fuel leak has jeopardized the launch of the agency’s new 322-foot rocket. The machine’s highly combustible hydrogen fuel began leaking from the lower part of the engine Saturday sending engineers scrambling for a fix.
An attempt by the agency to fix the problem was initially unsuccessful and the leak reoccured.
“As engineers increased the pressure on the flow of liquid hydrogen into the core stage, a leak reoccurred. Engineers will attempt to reseat the seal in the quick disconnect cavity where the leak has been detected. This time they will stop flowing liquid hydrogen to the tank, close the valve used to fill and drain it, then increase pressure on a ground transfer line using helium to to try to reseal it,” the agency said in a statement posted to their blog.
It’s unclear how the latest troubles will affect the launch of Artemis I, which remains on track for Saturday afternoon.
The unnamed rocket is part of a new multi-billion dollar effort by NASA to return astronauts to the moon which could happen as early as 2025.
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