A NASA photo showed workers replacing the seal between the fuel line on the Space Launch System and its mobile launch tower.
On Sept. 17, Exploration Ground Systems manager Mike Bolger says a new fueling test is planned to check if the leak is fixed.
‘’The team is making great progress,” Bolger said. “Morale is good, still excited for this great opportunity that we’ve got.’’
Launch opportunities would come as soon as Friday, Sept. 23, or Tuesday, Sept. 27, if the Space Force allows NASA to bypass a rollback to the Vehicle Assembly Building, officials said.
Previously, NASA said SLS would have to return to the VAB to re-certify its flight termination system, likely pushing the third launch attempt to at least mid-October.
Space journalist Ken Kremer explained how the rocket’s ability to blow itself up in the case of an emergency is powered by batteries that now have expired inspection dates.
NASA said testing the batteries to be sure they’re still working can only be done at the VAB.
‘’I’m really uncomfortable with it,” Kremer said of NASA’s request. “It does seem to be going against the rules.”
Kremer countered NASA’s response to avoiding wear and tear on the rocket with more rolling back and forth.
‘’But on the other hand, we need to be safe because this mission must succeed,’’ he said.
NASA hasn’t said when it expects the Space Force to make a decision.
‘’It is their range and it’s our job to comply with their requirements so we will do that,” NASA Exploration Systems Development associate administrator Jim Free said.
If the next launch attempt happens on Sept. 23, NASA said the two-hour launch window would open at 6:47 a.m.
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