Artemis crews to replace seal on SLS while on launch pad, NASA says

Technicians will set up an enclosure around the work area to protect the hardware

Artemis (Associated Press)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – NASA announced on Tuesday evening that they have decided to replace the quick disconnect between the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line on the mobile launcher and the Space Launch System rocket while at the launch pad.

In order to perform the work, technicians must set up an enclosure around the work area to protect the hardware from weather and other “environmental conditions,” according to the statement from NASA. It will also allow engineers to test the repair under cryogenic conditions.

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Working at the pad will also allow crews to gather as much data as possible to better understand the cause of the issue, NASA said.

NASA also noted that they may need return the rocket to the Vehicle Assembly Building to perform additional work that does not require use of the cryogenic facilities available only at the pad.

NASA would need to roll the rocket and spacecraft back to the VAB before the next launch attempt to reset the system’s batteries and meet the current requirement by the Eastern Range for certification on the flight termination system, according to NASA’s statement.

Teams on site will also check the plate coverings on other umbilical interfaces to ensure there are no leaks present at those locations. There are seven main umbilical lines and each line may have multiple connection points, according to NASA.

While NASA is not sure when the mega moon rocket will be ready again for a launch attempt, they are looking at four possible periods over the next four months, according to the space agency’s website.

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Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.