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Nasa Plans A New Moon Rocket Launch For Saturday After Fixing Issues

NASA plans to launch its next moon rocket on Saturday following the first attempt’s failure due to engine sensor issues and fuel leaks.

The 322-foot rocket’s first flight, scheduled for Monday but delayed late in the countdown, is NASA’s most powerful rocket ever. As managers confirmed their confidence in their plan and weather forecasters predict good weather, the Kennedy Space Center is ready to begin to run again.

For the first time since the Apollo mission 50 years ago, a crew capsule atop the rocket will carry three test dummies on a six-week journey around the moon and back. Before putting humans in the spaceship for the next scheduled trip in two years.

NASA’s deputy manager of exploration ground systems, Jeremy Parsons says, “This is a test flight, right? And so while I feel very good about our procedures, when you look the team in the eye, they’re ready. We can’t control the weather.”

The Space Launch System rocket’s engineers insisted Thursday evening that all four main engines were in good and that a faulty temperature sensor caused them to appear unusually warm on Monday.

At takeoff, the engines must be at or below -420 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 250 degrees Celsius) of the liquid hydrogen fuel to avoid damage and in-flight shutdown.

The launch team will run another engine test, but this time earlier in the countdown, after fueling starts on Saturday morning. According to Honeycutt, even if the sensor indicates that one engine is excessively warm other sensors may be used to verify that everything is operating as it should and to stop the countdown if a problem arises.

Because of fuel leaks, NASA could not do that engine test earlier this year. However, there were further fuel leaks on Monday, and technicians tightened several loose connections.

The test trip, which cost $4.1 billion, is the first step in NASA’s plan to transport astronauts to the moon in 2024 and land them there in 2025. The last moonwalk by astronauts was in 1972.

Presented by CTC News