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Retired astronaut weighs in on Artemis I launch scrub

Duane Carey says being extra cautious during liftoff is positive
Artemis I and the SLS waiting to launch
Posted at 8:13 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 22:13:05-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — NASA was set to launch Artemis I this morning, the first of three missions hoping to put a woman, a person of color, and a lunar base on the moon. 40 minutes before launch, the team decided to scrub, or stop, the launch.

Scientists and experts say that there was trouble cooling one of the engines before launch, most likely due to a liquid hydrogen leak.

"What we saw this morning was a scrub. And a scrub is one of those things you find out happens in the space business a lot", says Rich Cooper, the Vice President of Strategic Communication for the Space Foundation and former NASA employee.

Experts and scientists agree that postponing a launch isn't a setback, but a smart decision.

"Put all of these pieces together. Fuel them, put them together. And something didn't go the way they wanted, so they stopped. They took a look at it. Because they're not going to launch until it's safe and it's sound", says Cooper.

Rocket scientists and engineers are going to be spending the rest of this week working on the problem. When they find a solution Cooper says, "And after that, we'll go"

Duane Carey is a retired fighter pilot and astronaut living in Colorado Springs.

"I was involved with a lot of launches at NASA like you might imagine", says Carey.

Before his time in the stars, Carey was working as a fighter pilot and then a test pilot with the US Air Force.

'NASA called me up and asked if I wanted to fly a space shuttle. And who ever says no to that?", added Carey.

Carey flew on the Columbia STS-109 in 2002 towards the Hubble telescope. He says he's had several scrubs on launch days, and that's a good thing.

"I would consider almost every scrub to be not a failure but a success. Because it shows that we have rules in effect and we don't make off the cuff or from the hip decisions"

Today, Duane spends his time driving his motorcycle to young children at schools across the globe to teach them about space science and exploration.

The launch is rescheduled to take place this Friday at 10:45 in the morning. If you'd like to view the launch online, you can visit NASA's website. If you'd like to attend the Space Foundation's viewing, you can visit their website.


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