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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 22, @10:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the for-some-values-of-'success' dept.

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


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @02:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @02:11PM (#1255351)

    There's not a thing wrong with finding problems now rather than later, but the problem is that they didn't finish the test. Will they do it again to exercise the last 30 seconds? If this were a SpaceX rocket, I'm sure NASA would require them to re-test. But since it's SLS, they'll probably declare it a success, and hope that there aren't any other, undetected problems in the last 30 seconds of the launch sequence.

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