NASA restarted a two-day dress-rehearsal countdown Tuesday for the agency's new Space Launch System moon rocket after a series of unrelated glitches, mostly involving ground systems, blocked two earlier attempts to fully fuel the huge launcher to verify its readiness for flight.
A problem with a helium valve on the Space Launch System moon rocket's upper stage will require ground teams to only partially load the giant launcher with cryogenic propellants during an upcoming countdown dress rehearsal, NASA officials said Saturday. NASA also confirmed teams now targeting Thursday for the next try to complete the test.
NASA officials said Tuesday they are standing down from a cryogenic loading test on the agency's Space Launch System moon rocket until after the launch of a commercial crew mission from a neighboring pad at the Kennedy Space Center. A countdown test Monday was delayed by what NASA managers characterized as minor issues, including a liquid oxygen temperature concern and a manual valve that was left in the wrong configuration before teams evacuated the SLS launch pad.
NASA launch controllers called off plans to load super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the first fully-assembled Space Launch System moon rocket Sunday for a countdown dress rehearsal, giving time for ground teams to troubleshoot problems with fans used to ventilate the giant rocket's mobile launch structure at the Kennedy Space Center.
This timeline covers major countdown activities planned during the NASA's wet dress rehearsal for the Artemis 1 mission. The wet dress rehearsal will include loading of more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the Space Launch System moon rocket on launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA called off plans to load super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the fully-stacked Space Launch System moon rocket Sunday. The cryogenic tanking operation is part of a full-up countdown dress rehearsal ahead of the launch of unpiloted Artemis 1 moon mission.
NASA officials gave the green light Friday for the first all-commercial astronaut launch to the International Space Station on a SpaceX rocket as soon as April 3. But the astronaut launch could be delayed a day, or longer, to give priority to a countdown test for NASA's Space Launch System moon rocket on a neighboring launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center.