NASA to roll Artemis 1 moon rocket off the launch pad after failed fueling tries


NASA has determined to roll its Artemis 1 moon rocket off the launch pad and again to a processing facility to repair some points revealed by a latest “moist costume rehearsal” take a look at.

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The moist costume rehearsal — a collection of key trials designed to point out that Artemis 1’s enormous Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft and their related floor infrastructure are able to go — started on April 1 at Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle (KSC) in Florida.

Issues had been alleged to wrap up about 48 hours later, with the loading of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants into the SLS and the execution of a number of simulated launch countdowns. Artemis 1 group members ran into several problems that delayed these steps, nonetheless, they usually finally stood right down to accommodate the non-public Ax-1 astronaut mission, which launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 8 from KSC’s Pad 39A.

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The moist costume obtained going once more on April 12, in a modified format: After discovering a defective valve on the cell launch decrease supporting the Artemis 1 stack, the group determined to gas up simply the SLS core stage, not its higher stage as effectively.

Technicians started fueling the core stage on April 14 as deliberate, however they stopped after noticing that liquid hydrogen was leaking from one of many “umbilical” traces working from the cell launch tower to the SLS. 

After ending that fueling effort — the third of the moist costume marketing campaign following abortive tries on April 3 and April 4 — Artemis 1 group members took a while to research their knowledge and their choices. They initially left the door open to resuming the moist costume subsequent week, with one other tanking attempt perhaps as early as Thursday (April 21). 

However that is not on the desk anymore. The group has determined to roll the Artemis 1 stack off Pad 39B and again to KSC’s cavernous Automobile Meeting Constructing to switch the defective valve and tackle the leaky umbilical. 

“Throughout that point, the company additionally will evaluate schedules and choices to display propellant loading operations forward of launch,” NASA officers wrote in an update on Saturday (April 16).

The choice, or no less than the timing of it, was pushed to a point by exterior elements, NASA officers stated, citing upgrades wanted “at an off-site provider of gaseous nitrogen used for the take a look at.”

We’ll be taught extra in regards to the choice and the plans going ahead quickly; NASA will maintain an Artemis 1 press convention Monday (April 18) at 3 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). You may observe it dwell at

Artemis 1 will ship an uncrewed Orion on a roughly month-long journey across the moon. NASA is hoping to launch the mission this summer time however will not set an official goal date till the moist costume wraps up and groups have analyzed the ensuing knowledge.

Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e book in regards to the seek for alien life. Comply with him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.  


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