A fourth attempt at the final freelance test began Saturday and the rocket tanks were filled on Monday.
The crucial test, called the wet suit rehearsal, simulates every stage of the launch without the rocket leaving the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The process involves loading Supercold propulsion, launching a full countdown simulation, resetting the countdown clock and filtering the rocket tanks.
The results of the wet dress rehearsal will determine when the uncrewed Artemis I will begin the process of going beyond the moon and returning to Earth. The mission will launch NASA’s Artemis project, which is expected to return humans to the moon and land the first woman and first person on the lunar surface in 2025.
The previous three attempts at wet dress rehearsal in April failed, ending before the rocket was fully loaded due to various leaks. NASA later said that these were fixed.
NASA team on June 6 rolled the 322-foot (98-meter-high) Artemis I rocket, including the space launch system and Orion spacecraft, to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Wet dress rehearsal steps
The wet dress rehearsal began at 5pm ET Saturday with a “call to stations” – when all teams involved in the mission came to their desks and announced that the test was ready to begin and would begin two days later. Countdown.
Over the weekend preparations will begin to load the Artemis crew to the core and upper levels of the rocket.
Tanking was halted Monday morning due to a problem identified in the backup supply of gaseous nitrogen. The release panel replaced the valve that caused the problem. In order to ensure that the backup supply works as expected, it has been converted into the primary supply for today’s test.
ET stopped at 9:28 p.m. Liquid oxygen was cooled to minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 182 degrees Celsius), and liquid hydrogen was used to fill the core before reaching the top of the rocket. Ventilation from the rocket is visible throughout the process.
The center level was mostly crowded and after 2pm the team filled the overhead when there were several issues.
The team detected a hydrogen leak in the quick disconnect queue for the main phase and is repairing it. Their first option does not work and they see if there is any other way to close the leak.
Something from the flare stack, excess liquid hydrogen from the rocket burned with propane flames, causing a small grass fire to burn towards a dirt road. The team monitored the grass fire and did not expect it to become a problem because the fire would be extinguished when it reached the dirt road.
Currently, four tanks of the rocket are full.
As engineers tried to work on solutions to the hydrogen leak, the test exceeded the planned 30-minute hold.
According to a tweet from NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems, the Artemis team has decided to go through a countdown while covering up the hydrogen leak problem “in order to get further into the test for today’s wet clothing rehearsal”.
The 10-minute countdown began at 7:28 pm ET.
However, if the computers involved in the countdown detect a hydrogen leak, it may be similar to a check engine light that stops the countdown in advance.
The crew said security arrangements had been made to keep the rocket safe in Countdown and that there would be only one countdown, not two as planned.
Count from below
Generally, there are two countdowns during a wet dress rehearsal. First, team members usually go through the countdown for 33 seconds to get started, and then stop the cycle. The clock has been reset; The countdown will then restart and run for up to nine seconds before a launch occurs.
Monday’s brief countdown will run for up to nine seconds.
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems project, said previous wet clothing rehearsals had already completed several objectives to prepare the rocket for launch.
Once the Artemis rocket stack has completed its wet suit rehearsal, it will return to the Space Center’s vehicle assembly building to wait for Missile Day.
The Artemis team has a long history behind the rigorous testing of new systems before launch, and faces many experiences, including the Apollo and Shuttle-time teams, including numerous trial attempts and delays.
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