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A faulty sensor may have scrubbed the launch of NASA’s massive SLS rocket

NASA's SLS rocket may now launch on Saturday, September 3, 2022.

Enlarge / NASA’s SLS rocket may now launch on Saturday, September 3, 2022. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

After scrubbing a launch attempt of the Space Launch System rocket on Monday, NASA officials said they’re working toward a second attempt to fly the Artemis I mission on Saturday, September 3.

NASA flight controllers halted the first launch attempt after they were unable to verify that one of the SLS rocket’s four main engines—engine no. 3—had been properly cooled to a temperature of -420 degrees Fahrenheit prior to ignition. The engines must be chilled to very cold temperatures in order to handle the injection of very cold liquid hydrogen and oxygen propellants.

During a news conference on Tuesday evening, NASA’s program manager for the SLS rocket, John Honeycutt, said his engineering team believed the engine had actually cooled down from ambient temperature to near the required level but that it was not properly measured by a faulty temperature sensor.

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