The launch team is on track to begin the countdown for the Artemis I wet dress rehearsal test. Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 currently predict favorable weather conditions for tanking on April 3. The primary weather concern is lightning. There is currently less than a 10% chance of lightning within five nautical miles of the launch pad. Weather constraints stipulate there must be less than a 20% chance lightning within 5 nautical miles of pad during the first hour of tanking. Meteorologists are also predicting a 10% chance of winds greater than 23 knots on April 3, when tanking begins. Winds must not be above 37.5 knots and the temperature cannot be below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
The countdown is set to begin at 5 p.m. EDT April 1 with “call to stations” at L-45 hours, 40 minutes, when teams begin arriving to Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Control Center. The approximately two-day wet dress rehearsal test for the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft will run the Artemis I launch team through operations to load propellant into the rocket’s tanks, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and also drain propellants to give them an opportunity to practice the timelines and procedures they will use for launch.
In addition to updates on this blog, NASA will provide live updates on the Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account. NASA is streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel. Activity at the launch pad likely will not be visible during the majority of the countdown, but some venting may be seen during tanking on April 3.