NASA officials prepare for crucial test ahead of Artemis I moon rocket launch attempt

Cryogenic demonstration test expected Wednesday

NASA officials are preparing for a crucial test that will inform whether they can attempt to launch the Artemis I moon rocket again.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – NASA officials are preparing for a crucial test that will inform whether they can attempt to launch the Artemis I moon rocket again.

The space agency plans on conducting a cryogenic demonstration test, currently scheduled no earlier than Wednesday, Sept. 21.

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Mission managers said the tanking test will be essential in determining if the seals crews replaced inside the quick-disconnect hold.

They said they will have more information about the next launch attempt after the tanking test.

NASA also needs the Space Force to grant a waiver for its Flight Termination System (FTS), the ability to destroy the moon rocket if it goes off course, before attempting liftoff again.

NASA officials said Monday that they were still in negotiations.

“They’ve got the responsibility of public safety, and they’ve asked for additional information,” said Space Launch System chief engineer John Blevins.

NASA space officials are now targeting a 70-minute launch window beginning at 11:37 a.m. on Sept. 27. A second opportunity opens at 2:52 p.m. for 109 minutes on Oct. 2.

NASA said the fueling test Wednesday will include chilling the engines and testing new seals on liquid hydrogen connections.

SLS suffered hydrogen leaks during multiple tests and launch attempts so far.

This time, Tom Whitmeyer of NASA said it will be a slower fueling process.

‘’We’re going to be doing what we call the kinder, gentler kind of loading operations,” Whitmeyer said. “We think that will really help with the pressure and temperature transitions that the systems see.”

‘The fueling test Wednesday is expected to begin at 7:15 a.m and finish around 3 p.m.

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About the Authors:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.