Moon rocket fueling test a success, Nasa says, setting stage for launch

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A critical fuel test of NASA’s giant moonrocket went all-in on Wednesday, setting the stage for an early Sept. 27 launch attempt. for space agency,

NASA began loading cryogenic fuels into the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket Wednesday morning to test new processes designed to repair and prevent leaks and engine problems, which have led to the launch of the Aug. Initially canceled two previous launch attempts. Despite some problems along the way, the space agency was able to complete the test and gave the rocket a passing grade.

“The test went really well. We wanted to learn, evaluate,” Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s launch director for SLS’s impending Artemis I test flight, said in a statement Shared on social media. “We were able to meet the objectives we set out to accomplish. I am extremely excited about today’s test.”

NASA has not yet committed to the opportunity for a September 27 launch, but will now begin to consider what was learned during Wednesday’s test, weather conditions and other factors to determine whether that would be the case. Whether or not to commit to the launch opportunity is aiming for a previously announced backup date of 2. October, or push the launch to another launch window entirely.

The test was designed to assess whether the new seals and procedures could prevent a leak at the interface between the liquid hydrogen fuel lines and the fuel tank of the SLS rocket, as such a leak allowed NASA to launch the final launch on Sept. The effort was forced to clean up.

The test also included new procedures designed to bring the rocket’s engines to the proper temperature to accept extremely cold cryogenic fuels earlier in the launch preparation process, because of the thermal condition of one of the rocket’s engines. A problem with NASA was largely responsible for the cancellation. First launch attempt for SLS on 29 August.

Together with the Orion spacecraft, this SLS forms the core of NASA’s new Artemis Moon program. The Artemis I will be an uncrewed test flight for both the rocket and the spacecraft, which will send Orion around the Moon and back, before plunging down into the Pacific Ocean.

If all goes well with Artemis I, Artemis II will make a similar flight in 2024, this time carrying four NASA astronauts.

Artemis III is the mission that will take astronauts back to the surface of the Moon in 2025, the first time shoes have touched the lunar regolith since 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.

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