Contact CNN for a live feed from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Space Correspondents Christine Fisher and Rachel Crane will be reporting on the launch along with a team of experts.
Prior to being cleared, the countdown was inadvertently paused as the launch team worked on a troubleshooting plan for engine #3, one of the rocket’s four engines.
The 322-foot (98-meter) stack, consisting of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, sits on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Weather conditions remain 80% favorable for a launch at the start of the window, which opens at 8:33 a.m. and closes at 10:33 a.m. ET, according to the latest forecast.
But since the rocket started refueling after midnight, there have been a few problems. The Artemis team is evaluating delays to determine how they will impact the launch.
Sea storms with the potential for lightning strikes prevented the crew from starting the refueling process, which was scheduled to begin at midnight, for about an hour.
The hold was lifted at 1:13 a.m. ET, and the process of fueling the rocket’s main stage with ultra-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen began.
The team stopped filling the tank with liquid hydrogen twice due to an initial leak as well as a pressure surge, but filling resumed for the main stage and began for the upper stage or intermediate cryogenic propulsion stage.
Now the launch team has discovered a bleeding problem with one of the rocket’s four engines and is working on retuning it. So far, their efforts have been unsuccessful.
During an engine prime, hydrogen is passed through the engine to prepare it for starting. Three of the four engines are working properly, but engine #3 has a problem.
The team also found a streak of frost on the inner stage flange. At first, the engineers thought that the frost might indicate a crack in the tank, but it turned out to be a crack in the outer foam. The team reported that the issue has been resolved as the crack in the foam does not indicate a leak.
Engineers are also working to find out what caused the 11-minute communication delay between the Orion spacecraft and ground systems. The problem may affect the start of the count of terminals or the countdown that starts when the clock has 10 minutes left before the start. But according to NASA, engineers are happy to figure out the problem before counting the terminals.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are expected to visit the Kennedy Space Center on Monday.
The program also includes performances by celebrities such as Jack Black, Chris Evans and Keke Palmer, as well as performances by Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” by the Philadelphia Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. .
Orion’s journey will last 42 days as he makes his way to the Moon, circles it and returns to Earth, covering a total of 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers). The capsule will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego on October 10.
Although there are no people on the passenger list, it does have passengers: Orion will be ridden by three dummies and a Snoopy plush toy.
Expect to see Earthrise views similar to those first shown during Apollo 8, but with much better cameras and technology.
The first mission of the Artemis program will usher in a phase of space exploration in which various crews of astronauts will land on previously unexplored regions of the Moon and eventually take manned missions to Mars.