CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA said Thursday it has finished testing its massive moon rocket and will return it to the launch pad in late August.
A date for the maiden flight will be set after a leak that surfaced during a dress rehearsal is fixed, the space agency said.
Earlier this week, NASA first fueled the 30-story Space Launch System rocket and pushed through a critical countdown despite a fuel line leak. Previous attempts were thwarted by technical difficulties.
No one will be aboard the debut launch that will hurl the Orion crew pod atop the rocket to the moon and back. The maiden flight will be followed by astronauts in 2024, looping around the moon and back. The third mission would attempt to land astronauts on the moon no earlier than 2025, more than half a century after NASA’s Apollo moonshots.
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