Artemis I rocket Returns to NASA Kennedy Space Center for Additional Testing

25th May 2022
Artemis I rocket Returns to NASA Kennedy Space Center for Additional Testing

Artemis I rocket and Orion spacecraft return to NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida for another series of wet test rehearsals before the upcoming Artemis rocket launch. After both spacecraft are thoroughly tested at Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), they will be rolled back to the Launch Pad 39B – presumably, in late May. The actual Artemis rocket launch is expected in mid-June if NASA tests go smoothly.

Previous and Current Artemis I Rocket Tests

During earlier Artemis I rocket testing, NASA engineers encountered a problem with the check valve and interim cryogenic propulsion stage. After careful examination, NASA found a piece of rubber in the valve that prevented it from sealing correctly. It is not entirely clear what caused the debris, but the engineers are already working on installing a new valve to replace the damaged one.

Besides replacing a malfunctioning valve, NASA will perform a series of tests to address a hydrogen leak between the rocket and its mobile launcher. The engineers will be double-checking the umbilicals that supply electric connections and provide the propellants. The next step while assessing Artemis I rocket launch readiness is evaluating the conditions of all the bolts, joints, and fasteners. So far, NASA engineers have not detected any serious leaks or damages, but considering certain challenges with the first wet rehearsal stage, the team will have to pay closer attention to every minor detail before conducting the long-anticipated Artemis rocket launch.

NASA Plans for Artemis Rocket Launch

If this time NASA carries out all tests successfully, the Artemis I rocket should be launch-ready by mid-June. The rocket will be integrated into the Orion spacecraft and will travel to the Artemis rocket launch site once again – and, hopefully, this time, NASA’s plans for the upcoming lunar mission will not be delayed.

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