NASA will make a second lunar rocket launch attempt on Saturday

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WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – NASA is aiming to make a second attempt on Saturday, September 3 to launch its new Space Launch System (SLS) lunar rocket, five days after a pair of technical glitches foiled an attempt on Monday. Agency officials said Tuesday.

Plans call for the 32-story SLS rocket to lift off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., sending its Orion capsule on a six-week uncrewed test flight around the moon and back to Earth.

The long-awaited launch would kick off the US space agency’s Moon-to-Mars Artemis program, the successor to the Apollo lunar project of the 1960s and 1970s.

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The SLS-Orion’s maiden voyage, a mission dubbed Artemis I, aims to put the 5.75 million pound vehicle through its paces in a rigorous demonstration flight pushing its design limits, before NASA deems it sufficiently reliable for transporting astronauts.

NASA’s first Artemis I launch attempt on Monday ended with a cooling issue with one of the rocket’s main stage engines, forcing the countdown to stop and a postponement.

At a press conference on Tuesday, NASA officials said they hoped those issues would be resolved in time for another launch attempt on Saturday.

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Reporting by Joey Roulette in Washington; Editing by Steve Gorman and Josie Kao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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