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posted by Fnord666 on Monday April 11, @11:47PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed-... dept.

NASA has been preparing for a wet dress rehearsal for the Artemis I rocket, but have hit several issues causing delays, the most recent being a faulty helium gas check valve. They have now announced that a modified wet dress rehearsal will start with a call to stations on April 12. This rehearsal proceeds through as an actual launch activity that scrubs at the T-10 second point. The modified test will focus on filling the core stage with cryogenic propellant, but with minimal propellant operations on the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS). Following the test, the rocket will be returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building to replace the helium check valve as well as to assess the launch procedures.

NASA is streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.


Original Submission

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Space Launch System Test Delayed for Weeks After Three Failed Attempts 18 comments

NASA to roll back its mega rocket after failing to complete countdown test

After three attempts to complete a critical fueling test of the Space Launch System rocket, NASA has decided to take a break.

On Saturday night the space agency announced plans to roll the large SLS rocket from the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center to the Vehicle Assembly Building in the coming days. This marks a notable step back for the program, which has tried since April 1 to complete a "wet dress rehearsal" test, during which the rocket is fueled and brought to within 10 seconds of launch.

The decision comes after three tries during the last two weeks. Each fueling attempt was scuttled by one or more technical issues with the rocket, its mobile launch tower, or ground systems that supply propellants and gases. During the most recent attempt, on Thursday April 14, NASA succeeded in loading 49 percent of the core-stage liquid oxygen fuel tank and 5 percent of the liquid hydrogen tank.

While this represents progress, it did not include the most dynamic portion of the test, during which the rocket is fully fueled and pressurized; and it, the ground systems, and computer systems are put into a terminal countdown when every variable is closely monitored. NASA had hoped to complete this wet dress rehearsal test to work out the kinks in the complicated launch system so that, when the rocket is rolled out later this year for its actual launch, the countdown will proceed fairly smoothly.

Also at Spaceflight Now.

Previously: Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Now Scheduled to Begin April 12


Original Submission

NASA Finally Succeeds With its Artemis 1 Wet Launch Test 6 comments

NASA finally succeeds with its Artemis 1 wet launch test:

NASA encountered a couple of issues while conducting the Artemis 1 "wet dress rehearsal," but it still checked off a major milestone by the time the test had ended. The agency was able to fully fuel all the Space Launch System's propellant tanks for the first time and was able to proceed to terminal launch countdown. [...]

This attempt wasn't flawless either: NASA had to put fueling on hold a couple of times since the rehearsal started on Saturday. Fueling was first put on hold on early Monday morning due to an issue with the rocket's backup supply of gaseous nitrogen. The team was able to repair the valve for the gaseous nitrogen line, however, and fueling recommenced a couple of hours later. As CNN notes, though, a few issues popped up just as the team was finishing up the fueling process on Monday afternoon. They discovered a hydrogen leak and had to find options to seal it after their first solution didn't work. Plus, the flare stack, which burns excess liquid hydrogen from the rocket, caused a small fire in the grassy area around the launch site.

In the end, the launch controllers came up with a plan to mask data associated with the leak so as not trigger a hold by the launch computer. That wouldn't fly in a real launch scenario, but they wanted to get as far into the countdown as possible to gather the data they need. They were successfully able to resume the 10-minute final launch countdown after an extended hold and got to T-29 seconds before they had to end the test completely. [...]

Regardless, they successfully performed several critical operations needed for launch during the test, including handing over control from the ground launch sequencer to the automated launch sequencer controlled by the rocket's flight software.

Previously:
    Space Launch System Test Delayed for Weeks After Three Failed Attempts
    Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Now Scheduled to Begin April 12
    NASA's Big Rocket Faces its Last Test Before Launching


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:33AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:33AM (#1236263)

    Artemis rocket is what?

    "wet dress rehearsal" is what?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:41AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:41AM (#1236266)

      Artemis rocket = Senate Launch System (SLS)
      "wet dress rehearsal" = they load propellant into the rocket, do a fake countdown, and declare it safe for humans to fly on

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:51AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:51AM (#1236270)

        This rocket will never carry people. That honour is reserved for the Artemis II mission scheduled for 2024. That's why the Orion pod on top has no life support system and only has a dummy escape system. Because clearly we don't need to test those things until there is actually a crew on board. *facepalm*

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday April 12, @04:26PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday April 12, @04:26PM (#1236389) Journal

        Also known as "my Girlfriend in Canada."

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:44AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:44AM (#1236268)

      It means they are going to practice launching without actually lighting the candle. "Wet" means they are loading real fuel instead of nitrogen, so there is risk of fire and/or explosion if they mess up.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 12, @05:28PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 12, @05:28PM (#1236411) Journal

        Gee, given the amount of time, money and delays associated with SLS, I can't imagine that anything could mess up and result in a large explosion. Anything going wrong seems highly unlikely given Boeing's involvement as the prime contractor.

        <no-sarcasm>
        As a taxpayer, I think the best thing that could happen to SLS would be a spectacular explosion on the launch pad, during a test, that takes all of the launch infrastructure with it. I don't say that out of spite. I say that as a taxpayer. It would be the most fiscally wise thing that could happen.
        </no-sarcasm>

        --
        I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:54AM (#1236271)

      For the first question: According to NASA.gov: Artemis is the first step in the next era of human exploration. Together with commercial and international partners, NASA will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars.

      For us taxpayers it is a gigantic hole in the ground that the government bulldozes money into to pay off congress critters in the various districts that manufacture parts for the rocket.

      For your second question.. A "wet dress rehearsal" is where NASA runs the rocket through a countdown sequence that includes the loading of propellants to refine procedures and find any problems in the process before an actual launch.

      For us taxpayers it's when they pour liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen into the hole mentioned above and ignite it.
      You're welcome. :-)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @09:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @09:04AM (#1236320)

      wet dress rehersal sounds more like something that would occur at a bucks do. or the mire classic circle jerk.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @05:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @05:32PM (#1236414)

        The more modern adventurous circle jerks skip the wet dress rehearsal and go directly to lighting the candle.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 12, @05:23PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 12, @05:23PM (#1236410) Journal

      Artemis rocket is what?

      It is a way to disguise / conceal / distract from the fact that we're talking about the embarrassment known as SLS.

      I hope that answers your question.

      --
      I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bradley13 on Tuesday April 12, @05:50AM (4 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 12, @05:50AM (#1236307) Homepage Journal

    ...I'm not sure exactly what.

    I mean, I want humans to have a sustainable space presence, but the SLS is not the way to go. A failure would amply demonstrate what a huge waste of time and resources the SLS really is.

    OTOH, at least we should hope for something, however minor, to come from that waste of resources. And a failure would just be an excuse to shovel even more good money after bad.

    And on the gripping hand: while I really admire what SpaceX is achieving, Starship isn't there yet, and anyway, there needs to be more than one organization that can regularly and repeatably put payloads that size into space.

    tl;dr: I don't know whether to hope for failure or success...

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @06:31AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @06:31AM (#1236311)

      Shut up, bradley12! This is not the rocket launch you are fantascizing about. And, besides, aren't you an ex-pat? Like, if I lump in the Poms, janrinok and FatPhil? So what, besides your conservative word, guarantees that you are actually paying your proper taxes to your home country? No accusation here, just a challenge to produce some actual skin in the game. Yes, I know you teach javascript, for great justice, but that will no longer count for much, as SoylentNews gradually weeds out the RWNJs. Sorry, bradley11, you r time has passed,

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @07:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @07:59AM (#1236314)

        Hmm, Spam mod. Who threw that? Oh, we cannot know? Admin only level of knowledge? Ok, then why is it not rescinded? Admin level knowledge, again? So are they implying that this was an aristarchus comment, even though aristarchus is no longer allowed to log in as aristarchus, so it could not have been aristarchus, or at the very most, aristarchus posting as an AC aristarchus? But how are we normal ACs (assuming there are any of us left) to know the difference between and actual covert aristarchus post, and a merely imitation aristarchus post by some other (and cheeky) AC? Puzzling, Puzzling Evidence" [youtube.com]. You better wake up. Woke is better than, well, you know. And, aristarchus knows. He knows very well.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 12, @05:42PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 12, @05:42PM (#1236417) Journal

      while I really admire what SpaceX is achieving, Starship isn't there yet, and anyway, there needs to be more than one organization that can regularly and repeatably put payloads that size into space.

      SLS could never be a real launch competitor to Starship, once developed. If the Starship were to cost 100 times as much as Elon predicts ($2 million x 100 is $200 million) that would mean that a single SLS launch ($4+ Billion) could buy 20 Starship launches.

      SLS is not the competitor you are looking for. Move along.

      I think a major failure of SLS before its maiden fright might finally be a wake up call to cancel the SLS and put it out of the tax payer's misery.

      SLS never was anything but a jobs program for red states that need government money. To use up old space shuttle parts. To put four expensive re-usable engines ($140 million each x4) on an expendable launcher.

      Why not have jobs programs doing something actually useful? Like repairing roads and bridges? A single SLS launch could repair an awful lot of roads and bridges.

      --
      I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @10:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @10:24PM (#1236475)

        Calling it a 'jobs program' is a distraction from the true purpose. Every dollar spent actually doing something is a dollar that didn't line a Boeing executive's or Congresscritter's pocket, and is thus available for someone else to steal. That's the point of projects like this. Blaming red states is also a distraction: One of SLS's key selling points is that parts of it are made in every state. The ESA has the same problem with their rocket program: The work gets divided up first so as to line the right pockets and the engineers then have to figure out how to cobble something together from the pile of required parts. The F35 is the mess it is for exactly the same reason.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @10:43AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @10:43AM (#1236325)

    when I piss my pants..

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 12, @05:45PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 12, @05:45PM (#1236418) Journal

      That reminds me of once long ago Nokia's outgoing Anssi Vanjoki telling smart phone makers that using Google's Android software in their phones was like peeing your pants in winter to stay warm.

      Wet dress.

      --
      I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:49PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @12:49PM (#1236339)

    is the helium to pressurize the tanks just vented after this rehersal?
    also, if used in a ballon instead how much could it lift ... for weeks.
    too bad it doesn't involve a bikini and a bucket of iced water ...

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday April 12, @02:37PM (1 child)

      They are only using tiny amounts of helium:

      Helium is used for several different operations, including purging the engine, or clearing the lines, prior to loading propellants during tanking, as well as draining propellant. A check valve is a type of valve that allows liquid or gas to flow in a particular direction and prevents backflow. The helium check valve is about three inches long and prevents the helium from flowing back out of the rocket.

      The propellant would be liquid hydrogen, and if they wanted something "inert" to test, they would probably use nitrogen:

      https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/nasa-engineers-break-sls-test-tank-on-purpose-to-test-extreme-limits.html [nasa.gov]

      The test version of the tank aced earlier tests, withstanding forces expected at engine thrust levels planned for Artemis lunar missions, showing no signs of cracks, buckling or breaking. The test on Dec. 5 -- conducted using a combination of gaseous nitrogen for pressurization and hydraulics for loads -- pushed the tank to the limits by exposing it to higher forces that caused it to break as engineers predicted.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @11:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, @11:18PM (#1236482)

        ah, thanks (trouble thru quotes even)! interesting!
        i thought that the eventual fuel will be cryogenic sooo ... there's that.

        not sure "only" pressure, as nitrogen, is a real actual complete test, considering the eventual, real pressure will be applied at a completely different temperature?

        also, i thought, that the helium goes inside the top of the tank when the liquid inside is drained thru a running engine ... to keep the pressure up (and maybe *shrug* to get buoyancy and a "top" atmosphere in the tank that is rather cold so as to keep the liquid draining from tank from boiling inside the tank?).
        i guess the question is simple: can it fly without helium? if not and the rocket is a one-way ticket then, well, it's wasted ... weeh.

        note: a bottle of water doesn't drain very well if just unscrewed and inverted (the *glug*glug*glug* effect)?
        note 2: sorry, there's rocket science and then there's moer REAL rocket science .. as in "oh, look the rocket came back in one piece"-rocket (now we can do) science :D

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