The SLS launch is postponed until Saturday

The launch of the SLS lunar rocket was postponed until Saturday. Engineers are looking for a way to restore the supply of liquid hydrogen to engine number 3. They hope that the launch vehicle will not have to be taken off the launch pad for repairs.

The SLS rocket is about to launch. Source: NASA/Joel Kowsky

New launch date of the lunar rocket

The launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) lunar rocket has been postponed again. After the launch scheduled for Monday August 29 was cancelled, everyone expected the next date to be Friday September 2.

However, engineers are still looking for a final solution to the problem of hydrogen supply to engine number 3. So, on the night of August 30-31, it became known that the new launch date is Saturday, September 3 at 21:17 Kyiv time.

The launch should take place from the same site 39B, where the giant rocket is currently installed. Engineers are confident that they will not have to drive it back to the assembly facility for repairs. After all, this would mean delaying the launch until at least September 20.

SLS engine malfunctions

On Monday, the reason for canceling the launch was the indicators on one of the sensors that record the supply of hydrogen to engine number 3 of the first stage. It showed a temperature of minus 230 degrees Celsius, which does not correspond to acceptable values.

It was not possible to correct the situation on the spot. But the engineers are sure that the problem lies in the malfunction of the sensor itself, because the rest of the devices show that the hydrogen supply is going as it should. However, to replace it, the rocket must be removed from the launch pad, and engineers are trying to avoid this.

Response measures are still being developed. It is known that the engine cooling process will start 30-45 minutes earlier than last time. In the course of preparation, specialists will consider all possible scenarios.

However, not only technical problems can lead to the cancellation of Saturday launch as well. The weather at Cape Canaveral continues to be volatile. The weather service gives a 60 percent chance that it will preclude the launch.

According to materials: