NASA now targeting June for next Artemis moon rocket dress rehearsal

Agency looking at August for official launches

FILE - The NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building moving slowly on an 11-hour journey to pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, March 17, 2022. The flight debut of NASA's new mega moon rocket faces additional delays, following a series of failed fueling tests, officials said Monday, April 18, 2022. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (John Raoux, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – NASA says it’s now looking at early to mid-June to try another wet dress rehearsal for its next-generation moon rocket.

The space agency attempted a wet dress rehearsal for the Artemis SLS rocket last month at Kennedy Space Center. The critical test was stopped when a hydrogen leak was discovered while loading fuel.

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The wet dress rehearsal follows a typical launch all the way through to the countdown, including all launch activities like fueling. It’s a crucial step before launching the rocket on its maiden voyage.

NASA will not set a launch date for Artemis until the team gets through a wet dress rehearsal successfully. As it stands now, officials are looking at launch periods in August.

A more definitive date for the next rehearsal attempt will be released as NASA continues to work on the rocket.

The Artemis I mission would send the rocket to orbit the moon and return. If that mission is successful, NASA will attempt an unmanned moon landing with the Artemis II mission, followed by a third Artemis mission that would be crewed.

Under development since 2011, Congress originally mandated the maiden flight to be in 2016. The Artemis program is not only behind schedule but billions of dollars over budget.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.