Science & Technology

Massive Artemis I Moon Rocket to Roll for Next Tanking Test on June 6

A close-up view of the Artemis I Space Launch System rocket inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on September 20, 2021. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA is targeting June 6, 2022, to return the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft to the launch pad for the next wet dress rehearsal attempt. The Artemis I moon rocket departed Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 25, 2022, after three failed attempts at fueling the mega rocket.

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft are targeted to return to launch pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 6, for the next wet dress rehearsal attempt ahead of the Artemis I mission. First motion is currently slated for 12:01 a.m., the morning of June 6th with tanking operations to begin no earlier than June 19.

The rehearsal is the final test needed before launch and calls for NASA to load propellant into the rocket’s tanks, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and drain the tanks to practice the timelines and procedures that will be used for launch.

While inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), teams completed several major objectives, including assessing the liquid hydrogen system leak at the tail service mast umbilical, replacing the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) gaseous helium system check valve and support hardware, and modifying the ICPS umbilical purge boots. The addition of hazardous gas detectors above the upper stage allows for additional visibility into any potential leaks during cryogenic operations.

The hatches, or access points, of the crew module and launch abort system are now closed in preparation for rollout. Engineers installed rain gutters on the crew access area to help prevent moisture from entering the crew module while the spacecraft and rocket are at the launch pad. Teams have started retracting the service platforms that surround the Moon rocket and spacecraft in the VAB for rollout configuration ahead of their return to the launch pad.

NASA will provide livestream views the rollout of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft from VAB and arrival at launch 39B. For more information about the launch availability, click here.

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