Gasoline leak destroys NASA’s second shot at New Moon rocket launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) – NASA’s New Moon rocket launched another harmful gas leak Saturday, forcing launch controllers to name their second attempt and ship a crew capsule into lunar orbit with a look at the dummies.

The initial attempt earlier in the week was also tainted by hydrogen escape, but those leaks were elsewhere on the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket, perhaps the most effective ever made by NASA.

There was no quick word on when NASA might seek again. After Tuesday, a two-week launch interval break began. Deep gas leak repairs may require the missile to be withdrawn from the platform and back into the hangar, presumably advancing the flight into October.

Launch Director Charlie Blackwell Thompson and her crew tried to seal the leak on Saturday in the best way they did last time: stopping and recycling supercooled liquid hydrogen in hopes of eliminating the hole around a seal inside the supply line. They’ve tried it twice, the truth is, they likewise dropped helium by the way. Yet the leak continued.

Blackwell Thompson finally stopped the countdown after three to four hours of futile effort.

“Now we have a scrub for the day,” NASA launch commentator, Derrol Nail, offered.

NASA wants to ship the crew capsule above the rocket across the moon, pushing it to the limit before the astronauts begin their next flight. If the five-week demo with a look at the dolls succeeds, astronauts could fly across the moon in 2024 and land on it in 2025. Individuals eventually walked on the moon for 50 years in the past.

After days of inclement weather, climate cooperated early Saturday as the launch crew began loading nearly one million gallons of gas into the area’s launch system. Rocket.

However, minutes after the start of the operation, hydrogen gas began to leak from the engine part on the aft side of the rocket, violating security instructions.

During Monday’s launch attempt, hydrogen gas leaked from elsewhere inside the rocket. Technicians have tightened the fixtures over the past week, but Blackwell-Thompson cautioned she won’t know if every part is tight until Saturday’s fuel supply.

Much more, on Monday, a sensor indicated that one of the four rocket engines was too hot, but engineers later confirmed it was cold enough. The launch crew deliberately ignored the faulty sensor this time and relied on different hardware to make sure each main engine was properly cooled.

Mission managers accepted the additional danger posed by engine placement as well as a separate downside: cracks within the missile’s insulating foam. However, they acknowledged that various issues – such as gas leaks – might delay another one.

That didn’t stop hundreds from jamming the coast to see the Zone Launch System missile flying. Local authorities expected huge crowds due to the long Labor Day weekend.

The $4.1 billion to look at the flight is the first step in NASA’s Artemis program to explore the regenerative moon, named after Apollo’s double sister in Greek mythology.

Twelve astronauts walked on the moon during NASA’s Apollo program, the last time in 1972.

Artemis — years not on time and billions on money — aims to ensure a sustainable human presence on the moon, with crews finally spending weeks at a time there. It is a training ground for Mars.

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