NASA on Monday postponed the first flight of its historic Artemis 1 moon mission due to a series of problems with the rocket's four engines and the fueling procedures.

NASA will attempt another launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at the earliest, on Friday at 12:48 p.m. ET. Artemis mission manager Mike Sarafin confirmed at a press conference that "Friday is definitely in play."

The rocket is intended to advance moon exploration.

The cancellation of the 322-foot Space Launch System moon rocket was caused by a leak of explosive hydrogen, along with cooling issues with one of its four engines.

"This is a very complicated machine, a very complicated system, and all those things have to work, and you don't want to light the candle until it's ready to go," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

"It's just part of the space business, particularly, a test flight," Nelson added.

The rocket accounts for the most powerful rocket made by NASA, and was set to take three test dummies on a six-week orbit around the moon in a capsule that would be returned in October.

If the launch is unsuccessful on Friday it will be rescheduled on Sept. 5 at 5:12 p.m. ET depending on how testing goes.

"It's too early to say what the options are," said Sarafin. "We really need time to look at all the information, all the data. We're going to play all nine innings here. We're not ready to give up yet."

The Artemis program has faced delays and setbacks for years.

"While we hoped to see the launch of Artemis I today, the attempt provided valuable data as we test the most powerful rocket in history," Vice-President Kamala Harris, who was in attendance at Kennedy Space Center, posted on Twitter. "Our commitment to the Artemis Program remains firm, and we will return to the moon."