Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Countdown Ended – Here’s what went wrong

Artemis I SLS Rocket Wet dress rehearsal

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen on a mobile launch vehicle at Launch Complex 39B Monday, April 4, 2022 as the Artemis I launch team conducts the wet rehearsal Test conducted at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ahead of NASA’s Artemis-I flight test, the wet rehearsal will take the Artemis-I launch team through operations to load fuel, perform a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and close the tanks dump to practice schedules and procedures. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The Artemis I team finished today’s attempt at the wet dress practice test at 5:00 p.m. The countdown ended after liquid oxygen was partially loaded into the Space Launch System’s core tank. This provided the teams with a valuable opportunity for training and to ensure the modeled loading procedures were correct. New systems were used for the first time[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39B. The team was able to monitor the Artemis I core stage as it was exposed to cryogenic liquids and gather data that will inform updates to propellant loading procedures.

After troubleshooting a temperature limit issue for the liquid oxygen, which delayed the countdown by several hours, the team successfully developed a new procedure for loading the liquid oxygen and filled the tank to 50 percent. Liquid oxygen is an extremely cold, or cryogenic, propellant that is maintained at minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit.

During chilldown of the lines in preparation for loading the liquid hydrogen, the teams encountered an issue with a panel on the mobile launcher that controls the core stage vent valve. The purpose of the vent valve is to relieve pressure from the core stage during tanking. Given the time to resolve the issue as teams were nearing the end of their shifts, the launch director made the call to stop the test for the day. A crew will investigate the issue at the pad, and the team will review range availability and the time needed to turn systems around before making a determination on the path forward.

The wet dress rehearsal is the last major test before launch. This test allows the team to practice propellant loading and thoroughly check out the Artemis I rocket systems as they are exposed to cryogenics. Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Countdown Ended – Here’s what went wrong

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