Space

NASA Artemis I Update: Preparations Continue, SLS Rocket’s Core Stage Powered Up

Artemis I at Launch Pad 39B Moon Visible 2

The Moon serves as a background for the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft at Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 21, 2022. The SLS and Orion atop the mobile launcher were transported to the pad on crawler-transporter 2 for a prelaunch test called a wet dress rehearsal. Artemis I will be the first integrated test of the SLS and Orion spacecraft. In later missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone on the way to Mars. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

Overnight, launch controllers powered up the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket’s core stage. Communications links between Orion and the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston were verified, and preparations of the four RS-25 engines, which will not be lit during the wet dress rehearsal, continued. Over the next several hours, controllers will charge Orion’s batteries and conduct final preparations and closeout activities for the umbilicals.

The umbilicals provide power, communications, coolant, and fuel to different parts of the rocket. Additional accessories provide access and stabilize the rocket and spacecraft. During launch, each umbilical releases from its connection point, allowing the rocket and spacecraft to lift off safely from the launch pad.

The mission management team is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. EDT to review the status of operations. The next update will be posted after the conclusion of the meeting.

NASA will provide live updates on the Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account. NASA is also streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft at Launch Pad 39B on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.

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