The Artemis team has had time to review data collected from a successful fourth attempt at a final pre-launch test conducted on Monday and determined that no further wet dress rehearsal is needed. The test simulates each stage of the launch without the rocket leaving the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“During dress rehearsal activities, we have gradually increased our understanding of how the rocket and ground systems work together, and our teams have become proficient in multi-site launch procedures,” said Tom Whitmeyer, deputy assistant administrator for the POT. exploration systems development, he said in a statement.
“We have completed the rehearsal phase and everything we have learned will help improve our ability to take off during the target launch window.”
Monday’s test included loading all four rocket tanks with super-cold propellant, going through a full countdown and draining the rocket tanks. A hydrogen leak and other problems that arose during the test prevented the team from getting that far with two countdowns. as planned.
However, the team concluded that the test attempts have achieved almost all the necessary objectives before launch.
“We only had 13 of the 128 commanded functions that we planned on the count of terminals that weren’t successfully accomplished,” said Phil Weber, senior technical integration manager for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program, during a news conference on Thursday. Friday.
“And we looked at them in detail, and it turns out that most of them have already been validated in previous tests.”
Later Friday, engineers will conduct a test of the booster hydraulic power unit while the rocket is still on the launch pad, a component that was not included in Monday’s test.
“The units contain hydrazine-driven turbines connected to pumps that provide pressure to turn the booster nozzles used to steer the rocket during ascent,” according to a NASA statement.
friday night exam It’s not necessary, but engineers want to do a quick spin through the system to mitigate any risk of future malfunctions, said John Blevins, chief engineer for NASA’s Space Launch System Program.
Next week, the Artemis team will deploy the 322-foot-tall (98-meter-tall) Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft stack again at the Vehicle Assembly Building. The stack will remain in the building for six to eight weeks for repairs and launch preparations.
Engineers have developed a plan to complete end goals, such as replacing a seal to address the liquid hydrogen leak during that time. The team will also test and install pyrotechnics for the flight termination system hardware, said Cliff Lanham, senior manager of vehicle operations for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program.
The uncrewed Artemis I will launch on a mission that goes beyond the moon and back to Earth. This mission will kick off NASA’s Artemis program, which is expected to return humans to the moon and bring the first woman and first person of color to the lunar surface by 2025.
“The team continues to impress me with their creative thinking and ingenuity,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director at Kennedy. “Our Artemis launch team has worked quickly to adapt to the dynamics of propellant loading operations. With each milestone and each test, we are one step closer to launch.”
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