The Artemis 1 moon mission was scrubbed for a second time — just hours ahead of a planned Saturday launch — as NASA technicians grappled with leaking hydrogen from the rocket’s highly combustible fuel system.

The next available launch opportunities will not come before Monday or Tuesday — that is, if engineers can come up with a fix for the dangerously recurring problem.

The unmanned $4.1 billion mission, part of the ongoing American effort to establish a moon base that could send humans to Mars, has been plagued by technical troubles.

The leak began early Saturday as the agency tried to fill its new 322-foot rocket with nearly 1 million gallons of supercooled hydrogen fuel. The highly combustible accelerant began leaking from the lower part of the engine Saturday sending engineers scrambling for a fix.

NASA’s unnamed rocket sits on the launch pad ahead of the anticipating launch, which has now been delayed.
The unmanned mission has been riddled with technical issues.
The unmanned mission has been riddled with technical issues.

NASA called off its previous launch attempt on Monday, leaving its payload of three test dummies on the ground instead of sending them into orbit around the moon.

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building
The next available launch times will not come before Monday or Tuesday.

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