Leak ruins NASA moon rocket launch bid; next try weeks away

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new moon rocket sprang another dangerous fuel leak Saturday, forcing launch controllers to call off their second attempt this week to send a

crew capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies. The inaugural flight is now off for weeks, if not months. The previous try on Monday at launching the 322-foot (98-meter)

Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA, was also troubled by hydrogen leaks, though they were smaller. That was on top of leaks detected during countdown

drills earlier in the year. After the latest setback, mission managers decided to haul the rocket off the pad and into the hangar for further repairs and system updates.

Some of the work and testing may be performed at the pad before the rocket is moved. Either way, several weeks of work will be needed, according to officials. With a

two-week launch blackout period looming in just a few days, the rocket is now grounded until late September or October. NASA will work around a high-priority SpaceX astronaut

flight to the International Space Station scheduled for early October. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stressed that safety is the top priority, especially on a test flight

like this where everyone wants to verify the rocket's systems “before we put four humans up on the top of it.” "Just remember: We’re not going to launch until it’s right,"

he said. NASA already has been waiting years to send the crew capsule atop the rocket around the moon. If the six-week demo succeeds, astronauts could fly around the moon

in 2024 and land on it in 2025. People last walked on the moon 50 years ago.