NASA Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Countdown Progressing, ICPS Powered Up

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NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out to Launch Complex 39B for the first time, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ahead of NASA’s Artemis I flight test, the fully stacked and integrated SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft will undergo a wet dress rehearsal at Launch Complex 39B to verify systems and practice countdown procedures for the first launch. Credit: NASA/Keegan Barber

The Artemis I launch team continues to press ahead through the wet dress rehearsal countdown. During the overnight hours after determining four lightning strikes at Launch Pad 39B would not stop the countdown from continuing, the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) and solid rocket boosters of the Space Launch System rocket were powered up. Shortly after, all non-essential personnel left the launch pad.

Teams continue to prepare to load super-cooled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the Space Launch System core stage as part of the Artemis I test, which began on April 1.

At 6 a.m. EDT, or L-8 hours, 40 minutes, the launch team reached a planned 1 hour, 30-minute built-in hold in the countdown. During this time the mission management team will make a “go” or “no-go” decision to proceed with tanking operations. If mission managers elect to proceed with cryogenic loading operations, it is scheduled to begin at L-7 hours 40 minutes.

Tanking milestones include filling the rocket’s core stage and ICPS tanks with over 700,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. This will occur over a series of different propellant loading milestones to fill, top off, and replenish the tanks.

NASA is streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel. NASA is also sharing live updates on the Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account.

The next blog update will be provided after the “go” or “no-go” decision to proceed with tanking operations.



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