NASA successfully powered up the core stage at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi on December 5 and started the process to load propellant for the first time into the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket core stage on December 7. To complete this wet dress rehearsal exercise, more than 700,000 gallons (2,650 cubic meters) of cryogenic, or supercooled, propellants are transferred from facility barge systems to the core stage. To test propellant loading procedures, engineers successfully loaded a small amount of liquid hydrogen into the core stage without any issues. Then, they paused propellant loading to review data and adjust procedures before loading additional propellant.
This is the seventh of eight Green Run tests for the Artemis I core stage built by Boeing and the four RS-25 engines manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne. For this test, the team focused on the core stage’s first exposure to cryogenic propellants. Six barges filled with liquid hydrogen and oxygen supplied the propellant to the B-2 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi where the Green Run tests are taking place.
Engineers monitored the core stage’s giant propellant tanks and complex propulsion systems for potential leaks or other issues that stages have historically experienced the first time cryogenic propellants are loaded.
Operations are continuing, and the team will refine the procedures and resume the wet dress rehearsal test in the coming days. The core stage performed well, and there are no issues with the stage, the B-2 test stand, or other facilities at Stennis.
The purpose of the test is to complete first-time operations using the new facilities and new rocket stage and adjust processes as necessary. The wet dress rehearsal is the seventh of eight Green Run tests being performed on the Artemis I core stage. Check back at this blog for more updates.