The launch director halted today’s NASA Artemis I launch attempt at approximately 8:34 a.m. EDT (5:34 a.m. PDT). The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft remain in a safe and stable configuration. Launch controllers were continuing to evaluate why a bleed test to get the RS-25 engines on the bottom of the core stage to the proper temperature range for liftoff was not successful, and ran out of time in the two-hour launch window. Engineers are continuing to gather additional data.
Teams also are assessing what appears to be a crack in the thermal protection system material on one of the flanges on the core stage. The flanges are connection joints that function like a seam on a shirt, are affixed at the top and bottom of the intertank so the two tanks can be attached to it.
Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, with the newly upgraded Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The primary operations goal of this mission is to assure a safe crew module entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery. In addition to sending Orion on its journey around the Moon, SLS will also carry 10 small satellites that will perform their own science and technology investigations. Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions. It will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II.