National Space Society of North Texas president Ken Ruffin was one of the thousands of people on-site in Cape Canaveral to watch the Artemis I launch, the first integrated test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
“This is the biggest thing NASA has done, literally since the year 1967,” Ruffin told NBC News.
Unfortunately for Ruffin, NASA announced Saturday that the Artemis I launch would be canceled once again due to a hydrogen leak. The leak was caused by an eight-inch quick-disconnect fitting that connects the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line to the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
“Mission managers met and decided they will forego additional launch attempts in early September,” NASA said in a press release.
Ruffin was headed back to North Texas after the Artemis I’s two scrubbed launches when he told NBC News that the old adage about not putting all your eggs in one basket even rings true with the subject of human survival and space travel.
“Well, humanity is in this one basket. We call it the Earth. So, if we — we being humanity — if we’re located at more than one destination, if we’re obviously on the Earth, if we’re also on the Moon, if we’re also on Mars, if there’s something catastrophic that happens at any one of these locations, something so bad that it gets to the point that humanity cannot survive, well, there will still be humanity surviving elsewhere. So, it’s literally the survival of our species.”
He added, “It’s just a great time to be alive and to be able to see and experience this actually.”
According to NASA, the next Artemis I launch attempt will be postponed until the fall. Artemis II and III are scheduled to take off in 2024 and land on the Moon in 2025.