Rocket Launch Cancelled

UPDATE: The rocket launch has been postponed due to an issue with one of the engines. 

The space agency said: “Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson has called a scrub of the attempt of the launch of Artemis 1. 

“The issue that came up was an engine bleed which couldn’t be remedied but the rocket is currently in a stable configuration. 

“It was mostly tanked but not completely tanked."

It added that the first opportunity for the next launch attempt will be September 2.

 

The final countdown to Nasa's launch of the moon rocket Artemis has begun and here's how you can tune in. 

The rocket launch marks the first in the agency’s Artemis programme and opens the next chapter of putting humans back on the moon.

Although this launch will be uncrewed, astronauts are expected to be on board for subsequent missions, with the first crewed flight scheduled for 2024.

Nasa has outlined that the first Artemis astronauts are expected to land on the moon in 2025.

Nasa Artemis 1 rocket launch. Credit: John Raoux/APThe new Nasa moon rocket is seen on Launch Pad 39-B (Brynn Anderson/PA)

Here's how you can tune into the rocket launch which is expected later today (Monday, August 29).

When does Nasa's rocket launch start?

The Artemis 1 mission will be the first launch of the new 322ft tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which the agency says is the world’s most powerful rocket to date.

It will take the Orion capsule, powered by the Airbus-built European Service Module (ESM), into the moon’s orbit.

The mission is expected to last 42 days, 3 hours, 20 minutes, and in total it will travel 1.3 million miles, before touching down on October 10.

Since the UK is part of the Artemis programme and has been working alongside the US, Europe, Canada and Japan, it will also be tracking the mission from Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall.

The launch has been given a two-hour window from 1.33 pm (British Summer Time) on Monday from Nasa's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

However, controllers halted a fuel operation this morning after there was a liquid hydrogen leak.

Nasa said: “Teams continue to troubleshoot a liquid hydrogen leak at the mating interface with the core stage.

“After manually chilling down the liquid hydrogen as part of troubleshooting efforts, they are in fast fill operations.”

Similar leaks hindered Nasa’s countdown tests in April and June.

Managers said they would not know for sure whether the leaks had been resolved until attempting to load the rocket’s tanks with nearly one million gallons of super-cold fuel later on Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Watch Nasa rocket launch to moon live

If you want to tune into the launch, you will be able to view it on Nasa's website live beginning from 5 pm BST (12pm ET) on Monday, August 29.

Space fans will also be able to view it on Nasa TV, which will stream it live on YouTube.

If any bad weather or other delays occur, the launch could be rescheduled to either September 2 or 5.

There will be cameras inside and outside Orion that will beam images and video back to Earth as it journeys to the moon.

Various famous faces are expected to appear at the livestreamed launch including Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Josh Groban and Jack Black.

Airbus engineer Sian Cleaver, who is an industrial manager for the ESM, has explained that the last time humans went to the moon, some 50 years ago, it was about proving that it could be done.

This time around, the new mission is about proving that people can go there for a longer period as well as more sustainably.

The mission will also assess whether some infrastructure can be built on and around the moon which would allow humans to survive on another planetary body.