According to the recent “wet dress rehearsal” test, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has decided to roll its Artemis 1 moon rocket off the launch pad and back to a processing facility to fix some issues.
A series of key trials are designed to show that Artemis 1’s huge SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and associated ground infrastructure are ready.
Things were supposed to wrap up about 48 hours later, with the loading of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants into the Space Launch System and the execution of several simulated launch countdowns.
On April 12, the wet dress got going again, in a modified format: After discovering a faulty valve on the mobile launch lower supporting the Artemis 1 stack, the team decided to fuel up just the Space Launch System core stage, not its upper stage as well.
On April 14, Technicians began fueling the core stage, but they stopped after noticing that liquid hydrogen was leaking.
After ending that fueling effort, On April 3 and April 4, the third of the wet dress campaign following abortive tries. Artemis 1 team members took some time to analyze their data and options.
The team has decided to roll the Artemis 1 stack off Pad 39B and back to KSC’s cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building to replace the faulty valve and address the leaky umbilical.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials wrote in an update on Saturday (April 16), “During that time, the agency also will review schedules and options to demonstrate propellant loading operations ahead of launch.”
The decision, or at least it’s timing, was driven by external factors, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials said, citing upgrades needed “at an off-site supplier of gaseous nitrogen used for the test.”