The takeoff of NASA's new rocket for the Moon, the most powerful in the world, was canceled on Monday due to a technical problem, a disappointment but "not a surprise" for the American space agency, which will now have to aim the next fallback windows.

The next possible take-off dates are September 2 and 5.

But the problem that has arisen on one of the engines will first have to be evaluated in detail before determining a new start.

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  • Fifty years after Apollo's last flight, the Artemis 1 mission should mark the beginning of the American program to return to the Moon, to allow humanity to then reach Mars.

  • A complete failure of the mission would be devastating for a rocket with a huge budget (4.1 billion per launch, according to a public audit) and several years late (ordered in 2010 by the American Congress for an initial date of takeoff in 2017) .

  • The mission is to propel the unmanned Orion capsule into orbit around the Moon, to verify that the vehicle is safe for future astronauts - including the first woman and first person of color to walk on the lunar surface.

  • The main objective of Artemis 1 is to test the heat shield of the Orion capsule, designed by the European Space Agency (ESA), which will return to the Earth's atmosphere at nearly 40,000 km/h, and a temperature of 2,800 °C.

  • Instead of astronauts, mannequins will be on board, equipped with sensors recording vibrations and radiation levels.

    Microsatellites will also be deployed to study the Moon, or even an asteroid.

  • After this first mission, Artémis 2 will carry astronauts to the Moon in 2024, without landing there.

  • An honor reserved for the crew of Artemis 3, in 2025 at the earliest.

    NASA then wants to launch about one mission per year.

  • French astronaut Thomas Pesquet “will watch with great attention” the next manned flights of the Artemis mission to the Moon, believing he has “a voice in the chapter” to apply, in the same way as “several” European astronauts, a- he said Monday on

    France Info


    "What's good is that there will be several missions (...), we have a program that will be sustainable using the resources on the Moon, and that means that there is no will not have a European astronaut", but "in ten years, there will be several", he added.

  • The goal is to establish a lasting human presence on the Moon, with the construction of a space station in orbit around it (Gateway), and a base on the surface.

  • There, humanity must learn to live in deep space and develop all the technologies necessary for a round trip to Mars.

  • But before that, going to the Moon is also strategic, faced with the ambitions of competing nations, notably China.

  • However, the launch of NASA's new moon rocket, the world's most powerful, was canceled on Monday due to a technical problem.

  • The launch was originally scheduled for 8:33 a.m. (12:33 p.m. GMT) from Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center. 

  • The next possible take-off dates are September 2 and 5.

    But the problem that occurred on one of the engines must first be evaluated in detail before determining a new date.

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