Teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are preparing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for their return to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) early next week. While work at the launch pad continues over the weekend, NASA will also continue working closely with their commercial crew partners to finalize a date and time.
The transition from the testing configuration to the roll back formation required to return to the VAB is now underway. This process includes offloading hydrazine from the twin solid rocket boosters and disconnecting the rocket and spacecraft from the ground systems infrastructure at the launch pad. The core stage propellant was drained shortly after completing the last test attempt. The rocket and spacecraft remain in a safe configuration and will soon be placed atop the crawler-transporter for the 4-mile trek to the VAB.
Inside the VAB, engineers will repair a faulty helium check valve and a hydrogen leak on the mobile launcher while the supplier for the gaseous nitrogen makes upgrades to their pipeline configuration to support Artemis I testing and launch.
While most objectives associated with the wet dress rehearsal were met during recent testing, teams plan to return to the launch pad when repairs and checkouts in the VAB are complete for the next full wet dress test attempt. Following completion of the test, SLS and Orion will return to the VAB for the remaining checkouts before rolling back out to the pad for launch.
Watch a live stream of the rocket on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel and check back here for updates.