NASA’s first new moon rocket since the mighty Apollo-era Saturn V is back on the launch pad for a critical fuel test, and you can hear free commentary Monday (June 20).
The Space Launch System (SLS)’s first mega-rocket, which will launch the unmanned Artemis 1 mission to the moon in August, is on Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida for a three-day tank test beginning on June 18.
NASA rolled the rocket to the pad on June 6 and has been streaming live views on the KSC Newsroom YouTube ever since (opens in new tab) channel. Commentary began Monday (June 20) at 7 a.m. EDT on NASA’s main YouTube (opens in new tab) channel, with the agency saying the weather isn’t expected to be an issue and other minor issues are being “worked out” for the day. You can also follow the operations on the Space.com Artemis 1 blog.
The test window for broadcast targets opens Monday (June 20) at 2:40 PM EDT (1840 GMT). The space agency will hold a follow-up press conference on June 21 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) to discuss the results of the test.
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The Artemis 1 tank test of the SLS rocket, which NASA calls a “wet dress rehearsal,” is a critical test to ensure the agency can fuel the giant rocket for launch and that the systems are ready for the planned launch. journey to the moon. Artemis 1 will launch an Orion spacecraft around the moon as an unmanned shakedown cruise.
During the test, the launch teams will practice loading propellant into the rocket’s tanks, perform a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and empty the tanks to give them a chance to review the timelines and procedures. exercise they need. will use before launch,” NASA officials said in a statement (opens in new tab)Friday (June 10).
NASA attempted to run the test several times in April, but was unable to complete the procedure due to problems loading fuel into the rocket’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage. They found that loose bolts led to a hydrogen leak in the power lines between the stage and the SLS mobile launch pad. A helium check valve on the stage also had to be replaced.
Engineers have since fixed those issues and are once again ready to conduct the tank test, NASA said.
The rehearsal is the last test needed before launch and will begin with ‘call to stations’ on Saturday, June 18 at 5:00 PM EDT, when members of the launch control team will arrive at their consoles to begin the approximately two-day countdown. begin,” the agency said in the statement. If all goes well, NASA will fully fuel the Artemis 1 moon rocket on June 20.
This story was updated on Monday, June 20 at 7:23 a.m. EDT with details of the live commentary.