After Scrub Due to Safety Concerns, NASA’s Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Testing Continues

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 steppingstone on the way to Mars. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

NASA is targeting Monday, April 4, to resume the Artemis I wet dress rehearsal test. The test was stopped Sunday, April 3 prior to tanking due to loss of ability to pressurize the mobile launcher using two fans. The fans are needed to provide positive pressure to the enclosed areas within the mobile launcher and keep out hazardous gases. Without this capability, technicians were unable to safely proceed with remotely loading the propellants into the rocket’s core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage.

The launch control team will meet at 6 a.m. EDT and review the status of the operations before deciding if they will proceed with propellant loading. The targeted test T-0 is planned for 2:40 p.m. EDT. Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 currently predict favorable weather conditions for tanking operations.

During a teleconference this evening, Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager and Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director indicated that teams are continuing to troubleshoot the issue with the fans and aim to have a resolution later tonight. NASA will provide an update the morning of April 4, prior to the tanking meeting.

The Space Launch System (SLS) core stage, interim cryogenic propulsion stage, and Orion spacecraft will remain powered up overnight. The SLS boosters will be powered down, and then powered up again Sunday morning. Teams will work through the night and into the morning to complete necessary preparations ahead of loading propellants into the rocket.

NASA is streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.

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