Success! NASA’s Artemis Moon Rocket Passes Critical Cryogenic Demonstration Test

SLS Rocket and Orion Spacecraft

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SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft. Credit: NASA

Artemis I Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson has confirmed all targets have been met for the cryogenic demonstration check, and groups are actually continuing with essential safing actions and preparations for draining the rocket’s tanks. After encountering a hydrogen leak in a cavity within the tail service mast umbilical early within the loading course of, engineers had been in a position to troubleshoot the problem and proceed with the deliberate actions.

Artemis I Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson

Artemis I Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, at proper, displays information inside Firing Room 1 of the Rocco A. Petrone Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida throughout a cryogenic propellant tanking demonstration on September 21, 2022. Seated at his console is Wes Mosedale, technical assistant to the launch director. At left is Jeremy Graeber, Artemis I assistant launch director. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The 4 important targets for the cryogenic demonstration included assessing the restore to deal with the hydrogen leak recognized on the earlier launch try, loading propellants into the rocket’s tanks utilizing new procedures, conducting the kick-start bleed, and performing a pre-pressurization check.

The new cryogenic loading procedures and floor automation had been designed to transition temperature and pressures slowly throughout tanking to cut back the chance of leaks that might be attributable to speedy modifications in temperature or strain. After encountering the leak early within the operation, groups additional diminished loading pressures to troubleshoot the problem and proceed with the demonstration check. The pre-pressurization check enabled engineers to calibrate the settings used for conditioning the engines throughout the terminal depend and validate timelines earlier than launch day to cut back schedule danger throughout the countdown on launch day.

Astronauts Pose Artemis I Space Launch System

Astronauts and astronaut candidates from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency pose for {a photograph} in entrance of NASA’s Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft atop the cellular launcher on the pad at Launch Complex 39B on August 28, 2022. The astronauts are, from left to proper: Randy Bresnik, NASA astronaut; Joshua Kutryk, Canadian Space Agency astronaut; Zena Cardman, NASA astronaut; Jack Hathaway, NASA astronaut candidate; Christina Birch, NASA astronaut candidate; Reid Wiseman, NASA astronaut; Jessica Wittner, NASA astronaut candidate; Joe Acaba, NASA astronaut; Andre Douglas, NASA astronaut candidate; Kate Rubins, NASA astronaut; Jeremy Hansen, Canadian Space Agency astronaut; Stephanie Wilson, NASA astronaut; Jessica Meir, NASA astronaut; Don Pettit, NASA astronaut; Chris Williams, NASA astronaut candidate; Victor Glover, NASA astronaut; Shannon Walker, NASA astronaut; Stan Love, NASA astronaut. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Teams will assess the information from the check, together with the climate and different components, earlier than confirming readiness to proceed into the subsequent launch alternative. The SLS rocket remains in a safe configuration as teams evaluate the next steps.

Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions. It will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human presence to the Moon and beyond. The primary goal of Artemis I is to thoroughly test the integrated systems before crewed missions by operating the spacecraft in a deep space environment, testing Orion’s heat shield, and recovering the crew module after reentry, descent, and splashdown.

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