The NASA has met some problems during the whole final dress rehearsal of the Artemis 1 mission. However, the agency has just indicated that overall, the test was successfuland that we can now prepare for the launch of the mission.
On Monday, June 20, the rocket Space Launch System (SLS) and the capsule Orion have completed the fuel tank filling and countdown simulation tests. During the process, which took approximately 50 hoursNASA engineers detected a hydrogen leak. The latter, however, would not be not that serious and it will not be necessary to repeat the test.
In a press release published on June 23, officials from the American space agency indicated that they had verified the data collected during the dress rehearsal. They were able to determine that the test campaign was completed. Next week the SLS and Orion will return to the hangar VAB or Vehicle Assembly Building where they will be prepared for launch. The recently detected leak will also be repaired.
A second return to the VAB
This upcoming return to the VAB will be the second for the SLS and Orion, which are intended to fly during the Artemis 1 mission. Towards the end of April, the launcher and the capsule had already been brought back to this hangar to be able to perform repairs. Three filling attempts fuel tanks had indeed failed around the beginning of April due to technical problems. Among these problems, there had also been a hydrogen leakbut at another location in the installation.
According to the NASA press release, they will determine a specific launch date when the defective material associated with the leak will be replaced. We already know that the agency plans to bring the rocket back to the launch pad around the end of August.
We are waiting for the details
The US space agency plans to give a press conference today June 24 at 15:00 GMT. It will discuss the return of the rocket to the hangar, as well as the repairs to be made and the plans for the launch.
The Artemis 1 mission will be the first mission of the Artemis program. It will consist of sending a ship without passengers around the Moon for a journey that will last about a month. Artemis 1 will later be followed by Artemis 2 which will follow the same route, but with astronauts on board.