NASA Teams Proceeding With Overnight Operations for Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal

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NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B illuminated by spotlights, Saturday, April 2, 2022, as the Artemis I launch team conducts the wet dress rehearsal test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ahead of NASA’s Artemis I flight test, the wet dress rehearsal will run the Artemis I launch team through operations to load propellant, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and drain the tanks to practice timelines and procedures for launch. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Engineers confirmed there were four lightning strikes to the lightning towers within the perimeter of Launch Pad 39B. Teams have determined the first three were low intensity strikes to tower two and are continuing to review data from the fourth strike, which was higher in intensity to tower one. At the time of the strikes, Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage were powered up and the solid rocket boosters and interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) were not. Teams currently see no constraints to proceeding with the test countdown timeline as planned and will continue procedures to power up the SLS boosters and ICPS overnight.

Artemis I at Launch Pad 39B

Standing atop the mobile launcher, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft can be seen at Launch Pad 39B at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2022. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Overnight, engineers will also work to make up time for activities that were paused due to the severe weather. The Mission Management Team will review the schedule and data from the power ups and sensors at the pad at a 6 a.m. EDT tanking meeting before making the decision to proceed with the test.



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