Artemis 1 Launch Postponed Again and What Else You Need to Know About the Mission

This morning NASA called off its second attempt to launch its new moon rocket due to a leak in its hydrogen fuel line. NASA postponed the first launch of the Artemis 1 mission’s Space Launch System rocket on August 29 due to a temperature problem with one of four liquid-fuel engines. If NASA can resolve the rocket’s current issue, the next possible launch dates for the space agency’s Artemis 1 mission are in mid-October.

NASA’s new moon program is poised to smash all kinds of records for human spaceflight. Named for the Greek goddess Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister, this initiative will put the first woman and first person of color on the moon. If all goes as scheduled, in 2025, these astronauts will become the first humans to step on the lunar regolith—or dusty moon soil—since Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt walked there in December 1972.

In addition, the Artemis program will establish the first long-term human presence on the moon, by putting a space station in orbit and constructing a base camp on the lunar surface. These measures will lay the groundwork for yet another first in the future: sending astronauts to Mars.

But before all that happens, the space agency has to test its equipment with the flight of Artemis 1, which will break records of its own. As NASA’s massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket sits on the launch pad ahead of this historic mission, here’s what you need to know about the program making headlines around the world.

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