NASA will return to the moon at some point.
The launch of NASA’s newest rocket, Artemis I, was postponed Monday due to engine issues, ending the agency’s first voyage to the moon in 50 years.
The 322-foot-tall Artemis, which includes the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft, was scheduled to launch Monday morning from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
However, weather delays occurred at about midnight, when the team intended to begin fueling the rocket, and scientists noticed a liquid hydrogen leak at 4 a.m.
By 6:30 a.m. Engineers were trying to solve engine difficulties just two hours before the first window for liftoff on Monday, and the entire day was canceled just before 9 a.m.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Lady Doug Emhoff were expected to be on hand to observe the launch.
Celebrity guests included Jack Black, Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, and Yo-Yo Ma.
“This is a very intricate machine, a very complicated system, and all of those things have to operate,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.
The launch will not be rescheduled until at least Friday.
When Artemis finally takes off, Orion will travel 42 days and 1.3 million miles to the moon, circling it then returning to Earth, where it will crash into the Pacific Ocean near San Diego.
Three mannequins, Commander Moonkin Campos, Helga, and Zohar, will be aboard the spaceship to assess deep space radiation and test a new suit and shielding technology; a plush Snoopy doll to check zero gravity; and a garden of seeds, algae, fungi, and yeast to assist in testing the radiation.
Humans will not be allowed to board the rocket until Artemis II and Artemis III launch in 2024 and 2025, respectively.