The fourth attempt of the final pre-missile test began Saturday, and the rocket’s fuel is expected to begin Monday morning.
The crucial test, called the wet suit rehearsal, simulates every stage of the launch without the rocket leaving the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The process involves loading Supercold propulsion, launching a full countdown simulation, resetting the countdown clock and filtering the rocket tanks.
The results of the wet dress rehearsal will determine when the uncrewed Artemis I will begin the process of going beyond the moon and returning to Earth. The mission will launch NASA’s Artemis project, which will return humans to the moon and land the first woman and first person on the lunar surface in 2025.
The previous three attempts at wet dress rehearsal in April failed, ending before the rocket was fully loaded due to various leaks. NASA later said that these were fixed.
NASA team rolled the 322-foot (98-meter-high) Artemis I rocket, including the space launch system and Orion spacecraft, to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 6.
Wet dress rehearsal: what to expect
The wet dress rehearsal began at 5pm ET Saturday with a “call to stations” – when all the teams involved in the mission came to their desks and announced that they were ready to start testing and the two-day start. Countdown.
Over the weekend preparations will begin to load the Artemis crew into the center and upper stages of the rocket.
Tanking was halted Monday morning due to a problem identified in the backup supply of gaseous nitrogen. The release panel replaced the valve that caused the problem. In order to ensure that the backup supply works as expected, it has been converted into the primary supply for today’s test.
ET stopped at 9:28 p.m. Liquid oxygen was cooled to minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 182 degrees Celsius), and liquid hydrogen was used to fill the core before reaching the top of the rocket. Ventilation from the rocket is visible throughout the process.
The center level was mostly crowded and after 2pm the team filled the overhead when there were several issues.
The team that detected the hydrogen leak during the rapid disconnection for the main stage is repairing it. They stopped filling with top-level liquid oxygen after the pressure measurements were exceeded. The pressure is reduced so that the liquid can load with oxygen.
Something small grass fire from the flare stack burned by the excess liquid hydrogen propane flames from the rocket burns towards a dirt road. The team has been monitoring the grass fire and did not expect it to become an issue as the fire will be extinguished when it reaches the dirt road.
Count from below
The two-hour test window will begin later, with the Artemis team targeting the first countdown to 4:38 pm ET. Due to tank delay.
First, the team members Go through the countdown for 33 seconds before starting and stop the cycle. The clock will be reset; The countdown will then restart and run for about 10 seconds before a launch occurs.
“During the test, the team may have the necessary countdown to verify the conditions before restarting the countdown or extend it beyond the test window if necessary and if evidence allows,” according to an update on NASA’s website.
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems program, told a news conference Wednesday that previous wet clothing rehearsal efforts had already completed several objectives to prepare the rocket for launch.
“We hope to complete them by this time and get cryogenic loading operations with terminal numbers,” he said. “Our team is ready to go, and we look forward to coming back for this test.”
Once the Artemis rocket stack has completed its wet suit rehearsal, it will return to the Space Center’s vehicle assembly building to wait for Missile Day.
The Artemis team has a long history behind the rigorous testing of new systems before launch, and faces many experiences, including the Apollo and Shuttle-time teams, including numerous trial attempts and delays.
“There is not a single person on the board who is deviating from the responsibility of managing and delivering us and our contractors, that is, fulfilling the objectives of (Artemis I) aircraft testing and meeting the objectives of Artemis I. The project,” said NASA’s co – executive director of the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate during a press conference last week. Said Jim Free.
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