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NASA begins new tank test for Artemis-1 moon rocket

After some setbacks, NASA is now ready to conduct another important ground test with the Artemis 1 moon rocket. This test is called “Wet Dress Rehearsal” and will be completed on June 20 with the actual refueling process. Preparations have been underway since yesterday at the Kennedy Space Center in the US state of Florida. With necessary repairs completed and the Artemis 1 rocket now in place, NASA is poised to conduct another critical tank test for its next-generation Space Launch System.

Noisy space.com The dress rehearsal for the Artemis 1 began Saturday with a call to the ground crew of the Kennedy Space Center. The test takes a total of 48 hours. Equipment and instrumentation checks are currently underway, and tomorrow, June 20, technicians will attempt to load the rocket’s first and second stages with cryogenic fuel. If the test is successful, the Artemis 1 mission could start as early as July 26, according to current information.

Setbacks

This is the second visit to the historic 39B launch pad for the Space Launch System. After an initial attempt at the dress rehearsal on April 1, NASA attempted to run a modified version of the tank test on April 14. The second test was also aborted after a hydrogen leak was discovered in the rocket’s mobile launch tower. NASA finally decided to move the Space Launch System to the Kennedy Space Center assembly building for repairs, and it now took several months to make another attempt.

Once the wet dress rehearsal is successfully completed, NASA can finally move on to the bulk of the new Artemis 1 mission, the unmanned Orion capsule that will orbit the moon. Only in the next two Artemis missions will human astronauts fly again and land on the moon. Presumably, these missions will be carried out in 2025 or 2026.

Mark Goodman

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