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NASA postpones Artemis I launch to the moon after engine issues

Bruno Scramgnon, Pexels

NASA is delaying its giant leap towards returning humans to the moon. When the rocket does lift off, it will carry a little bit of Michigan with it.

The agency scrubbed Monday’s scheduled launch of its massive Artemis I rocket due to technical issues.

NASA designed the Artemis Space Launch System to transport an Orion spacecraft into orbit around the moon. There’s no crew on board, but many experiments necessary to test how humans can eventually land on the lunar surface in a few years.

That includes a series of seeds created at Michigan State University.

Plants grown in space typically have lower levels of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. But the Artemis mission features seeds from MSU enriched with amino acids. Researchers will analyze how well plants germinate from those seeds and how effective they might be as a food source.

Finding a sustainable way to feed astronauts is crucial for NASA’s overall plan to eventually colonize the moon.

The next target date to launch Artemis I is September 2, but that will depend on how testing goes.

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC. Klinefelter joined WDET in 1998 after earning a M.A. from the nation’s top-ranked journalism school, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and working as a sports correspondent for BBC Radio 4 and as a talk show host, anchor and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio.