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NASA has been forced to abort a mission to the Moon due to last minute technical problems.

The Artemis I mission should have seen NASA's new £41.35billion mega-rocket take off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida this morning (August 29).

However, there were issues during the fuelling stage. NASA described the problem as an "engine leak" although US Astronaut Stan Love told journalists that NASA didn't quite know what the issue was.

READ MORE: Weirdest things onboard NASA's latest Moon mission – from Lego to Shaun the Sheep

Love added: "It looks like it's going to be a few more days. We don't know exactly.

"We're going to have to take a death breath and wait for another opportunity."

NASA boss Bill Nelson was forced to brief US Vice President Kamala Harris about the decision to cancel the launch after she was invited to Florida to watch it.

"We don't launch until it's right," he said.

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spaceship were due to launch at 8.33am (local time).

A new launch date has not been set, although the next available day is September 2.

Problems with today's launch arose overnight when NASA engineers noticed a possible crack on one of the SLS' core-stage engines.

Weather also caused delays and the engineers were unable to resolve the issue in time to catch the two-hour launch window.

Artemis I is the first planned launch of the Artemis programme and will see an unmanned ship complete a journey around the Moon.

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If Artemis I is successful, NASA plans to put astronauts onboard for another trip around the Moon before using the SLS and SpaceX's Starship to touch down on the lunar surface in 2025.

It would be the first time astronauts have done so since 1972.

Artemis I will see the Orion cover 1.3million miles to test the SLS' capabilities, at one point reaching the furthest distance from Earth that any spacecraft built for humans has managed.


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