After a number of setbacks and failed efforts, NASA finally completed a wet dress rehearsal for the Space Launch System (SLS) on Monday. The SLS is the most powerful rocket in the agency’s arsenal. Even though the rehearsal wasn’t flawless, it was a significant step in the right direction for getting the SLS ready to go into service. After experiencing problems with temperature limits, defective core stage valves, and a leak of liquid oxygen in the past, the launch crew filled all of the SLS’s propellant tanks to their maximum capacity.
After reaching that significant landmark, NASA moved on to the last phase of the countdown to launch, which involves simulating the activities that will take place on launch day. On the other hand, a hydrogen leak was discovered at the connecting point of an umbilical cable that extended from the tail service mast to the core stage of the rocket. According to NASA, launch controllers were able to “hide the data connected with the leak,” which enabled them to proceed with the test despite the earlier data breach.
As Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate put it, “You cannot look at this test in a vacuum,” the phrase literally means “you cannot look at this test by yourself.” “You have to take a look at the comprehensive effort that has carried us through the last day,” I told them.
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, the director of the Artemis launch, said that the bulk of the goals for the rehearsal was successfully accomplished.
“When you speak about an aim that we didn’t achieve, there was no full objective that we didn’t meet,” Thompson said. “There was no whole target that we didn’t reach.”
“That goal can be broken down into its component parts, and there are aspects of the terminal count that we were unable to verify, most notably the bleed flow,” said the researcher. “You can dissect that objective into bits.” According to Free, the spacecraft known as Orion that was attached to the very tip of the rocket behaved very well during the test that took place on Monday. Concerning the launch date, NASA has not verified whether or not the SLS will be ready by its first launch window in August. This window is expected to occur in August.