Over the next few days, NASA engineers will be digging into the hydrogen leak that grounded the lunar rocket on the second attempt for launch on Saturday.They need to figure out if they’ll work the seal problem where the super-cooled fuel is pumped into the rocket on the pad or once they roll it back into the Vehicle Assembly Building. Related: Launch attempt of Artemis 1 scrubbed after leak detected; next try will come in OctoberBoth locations have their merits and challenges.“There is a risk versus risk trade. Doing it at the pad, you are exposed to the environmental conditions and we need to build an environmental enclosure to do that. If we do it in the Vehicle Assembly Building–the Vehicle Assembly Building is the environmental enclosure. However, we cannot test this quick disconnect at cryogenic temperatures,” said Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis mission manager.Regardless of the leak, a system needs to be reset in the VAB before another launch attempt can be made.The first mission of the Artemis program is focused on testing the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts. So while there are no humans on board, the data gleaned is critical for safety when the four astronauts are perched atop the 322-foot SLS.“There is understanding, even if people are disappointed. I know people understand that these are matters where safety goes first. And sometimes you just have to make the decisions to delay,” said Julie Brisset of UCF’s Florida Space Institute.So for now, just how long the delay will depend on the progress of repairing a leaky seal.

Over the next few days, NASA engineers will be digging into the hydrogen leak that grounded the lunar rocket on the second attempt for launch on Saturday.

They need to figure out if they’ll work the seal problem where the super-cooled fuel is pumped into the rocket on the pad or once they roll it back into the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Related: Launch attempt of Artemis 1 scrubbed after leak detected; next try will come in October

Both locations have their merits and challenges.

“There is a risk versus risk trade. Doing it at the pad, you are exposed to the environmental conditions and we need to build an environmental enclosure to do that. If we do it in the Vehicle Assembly Building–the Vehicle Assembly Building is the environmental enclosure. However, we cannot test this quick disconnect at cryogenic temperatures,” said Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis mission manager.

Regardless of the leak, a system needs to be reset in the VAB before another launch attempt can be made.

The first mission of the Artemis program is focused on testing the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts. So while there are no humans on board, the data gleaned is critical for safety when the four astronauts are perched atop the 322-foot SLS.

“There is understanding, even if people are disappointed. I know people understand that these are matters where safety goes first. And sometimes you just have to make the decisions to delay,” said Julie Brisset of UCF’s Florida Space Institute.

So for now, just how long the delay will depend on the progress of repairing a leaky seal.

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