NASA postpones SLS Moon rocket test due to safety concerns

NASA has delayed an important test for its next generation . On Sunday, the agency planned to fuel the rocket as part of a “wet skirt maneuver” designed to replicate the launch countdown for the upcoming launch. later this year. Shortly after 12 p.m. ET, NASA announced it was conducting an inspection due to a problem with the rocket’s mobile launch pad.

Before NASA staff started loading the spacecraft with 700,000 gallons of liquid propellant, the agency found a launchpad system critical to the rocket’s safety had failed after it lost control. pressurized launcher. NASA speak. “Technicians could not safely proceed with the loading of propellant into the core stage of the rocket and the temporary frozen thrust phase without this capability.”

NASA could retry the test as early as April 4, though that will depend on a number of factors, including fuel availability. The agency said it will hold a press conference later today to discuss its plans. A successful test would mark an important milestone for NASA. It spent more than a decade and more than $23 billion developing the Space Launch System, and the rocket is central to many of NASA’s plans for the Moon and beyond.

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