Nasa’s latest attempt to send Artemis 1 to the Moon has been cancelled at the last moment, following a leak of its fuel supply.
The rocket was due to blast off on its 42-day mission on Monday, August 29, before the mission was delayed at T minus 40 minutes as engineers detected an energy bleed and the launch was ultimately scrubbed.
Unmanned Artemis 1 was set to take off this afternoon from its base in Cape Canaveral, Florida, but its launch has again been called off as the space agency confirmed another leak had put paid to hopes of reaching the Moon.
Nasa wrote on its social channels: “The #Artemis I mission to the Moon has been postponed.
“Teams attempted to fix an issue related to a leak in the hardware transferring fuel into the rocket, but were unsuccessful.”
It had earlier written: “During tanking of the #Artemis I mission, a leak developed in the supply side of the 8-inch quick disconnect while attempting to transfer fuel to the rocket.
“Attempts to fix it so far have been unsuccessful. Stand by for updates.”
Nasa’s launch control told watchers of its YouTube page the mission had been scrubbed for the day as teams were unable to fix a hydrogen leak.
It added the “vehicle is safe”, although there is yet to be an update on when the mission will attempt for the third time to reach the Moon.
One viewer said: “That’s a shame and I bet no one’s more gutted than the teams working on it.
“I can’t imagine the stress and the drama behind the scenes but when it happens it’ll be so exciting.”
Another added: “Hopefully the next attempt will be successful. When a new car comes out, it gets tested hundreds of times in the lab and test environment.
“A project this size doesn’t have that luxury. So keep trying and be successful!”
On Monday the rocket was preparing for launch when a crack was detected.
The situation worsened, however, when there was an issue with engine three when they were unable to decrease the temperature, despite diverting further coolant through it.
The delay was in place for almost an hour before it was ultimately scrubbed.
NASA made the announcement at around 1:33pm local time – when the spaceship was originally due to take off.