CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 03: NASA's Artemis I rocket sits on launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on September 03, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA is scheduled to launch Artemis I today starting at 2:17pm, after the first attempt was scrubbed due to an engine issue. The mission will carry the unmanned Orion space capsule into the moon’s orbit in an effort to return humans to the moon and eventually land crewed missions on Mars. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==

A fuel leak prevented the launch of the maiden flight of the new US moon rocket SLS on Saturday. A few hours before the planned take-off of the Artemis 1 mission, a leak was discovered in a pipe that was supposed to pump around three million liters of hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the tanks, according to the US space agency Nasa.

NASA then canceled the launch.

The start was canceled for the first time on Monday due to a technical problem. From a meteorological point of view, the starting conditions were good on Saturday: According to Nasa, the chances of good weather at the beginning of the two-hour time window were 60 percent and should later rise to 80 percent. The authorities expected up to 400,000 onlookers on the beaches around the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They got nothing to see.

The start could now be postponed to Monday or Tuesday. After that, there will only be a new start option from September 19th.

The unmanned SLS rocket is designed to launch an Orion capsule into space. The Orion capsule will then orbit the moon at a distance of around one hundred kilometers. The Artemis 1 mission is expected to last several weeks.

Among other things, Germany is making a contribution to the NASA mission with the Orion service and propulsion module, which is mainly built in Germany. The follow-up mission Artemis 2 should bring astronauts into a lunar orbit, with Artemis 3 a moon landing should succeed at the earliest in 2025. (AFP)