CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s new moon rocket caused another dangerous fuel leak on Saturday, forcing launch controllers to cancel their second attempt to send a crew capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies.
The first attempt earlier in the week was also blighted by a hydrogen leak, but those leaks were elsewhere on the 322-foot rocket, the most powerful NASA has ever built.
Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and his team attempted to plug Saturday’s leak like they did last time: stopping and restarting the flow of super-cold liquid hydrogen in hopes of suppressing the space around a seal in the supply line. They tried that twice, actually, and also injected helium into the line. But the leak persisted.