NASA Artemis I Update: Rocket’s Upper Stage and Boosters Powered Up, Countdown On Track

Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Spotlights Crop

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B illuminated by spotlights, Saturday, April 2, 2022, as the Artemis I launch team conducts the wet dress rehearsal test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ahead of NASA’s Artemis I flight test, the wet dress rehearsal will run the Artemis I launch team through operations to load propellant, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and drain the tanks to practice timelines and procedures for launch. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The Space Launch System rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) and boosters were powered up overnight. Teams are in the process of clearing all non-essential personnel from the launch pad area in preparation for propellant loading operations.

At 6 a.m. EDT, or L-8 hours, 40 minutes, the launch team is expected to reach a planned 1 hour, 30-minute built-in hold. During this time the mission management team will review the status of operations, receive a weather briefing, and make a “go” or “no-go” decision to proceed with tanking operations.

Tanking milestones include filling the rocket’s core stage with several hundred thousand gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. This will occur over a series of different propellant loading milestones to fill, top off, and replenish the tank. Because of an issue found several days ago with a helium check valve on the rocket which cannot be fixed at the launch pad, cryogenic propellant will not be loaded into the rocket’s upper stage.

NASA is streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel. NASA is also sharing updates on the Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account

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