NASA postpones moon rocket launch for second time this week

The US space agency NASA has postponed for the second time in a week the launch of a rocket carrying an unmanned spacecraft into orbit around the moon.

The Space Launch System rocket and its Orion capsule were due to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday afternoon.

But NASA halted the countdown, saying a leak of liquid hydrogen occurred during the transfer of fuel into the rocket. The agency said attempts to fix the leak were unsuccessful.

This is the second time that the launch has been called off. It was initially planned for Monday, but was postponed then due to engine problems.

NASA plans to examine the issues and consider a time frame for another attempt.

The SLS rocket has been developed for the Artemis program, an international lunar exploration project aimed at sending astronauts to the lunar surface by 2025. It would be the first attempt since the Apollo program in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Japan and European countries are participants in the US-led program.