Artemis 1 wet dress rehearsal update

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - NASA’s mega moon rocket is currently in a holding pattern. The Space Launch System sits on the launch pad waiting for engineers, technicians and ground crews to rectify issues.

On Tuesday, leaders at NASA held a virtual meeting to discuss some of the hiccups with the wet dress rehearsal, that was scheduled to be completed on Sunday.

There have been several issues and challenges the engineers and the SLS rocket have faced during the critical pre-launch final exam.

Leaders with NASA say they’re now looking at next week to restart the wet dress rehearsal. The rocket will stay out at LaunchPad 39B until the next green light is given by NASA.

The 322-foot tall rocket was loaded with about half of the liquid oxygen on Monday when leaders decided to suspend operations for the day.

Engineers say they discovered an issue with a vent valve that prevented the fuel from reaching the correct temperature. Leaders at Marshall Space Flight Center say they use 196,000 gallons of liquid oxygen, and 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen.

Earlier in the wet dress rehearsal, there was also an issue with some of the new fans. Despite the challenges, leaders say there’s a lot of success.

Former director of Marshall Space Flight Center Dr. William Lucas says during some of the Apollo missions, wet dress rehearsal took several months. He’s not worried about the current hiccups.

”If they said it takes two days, they probably thought they could do it in two days. If they said it would take three months, someone would ask what’s wrong? Why are you dragging around? Why don’t you get on with it? You don’t know that. If you knew everything you probably wouldn’t have to let it happen. You could go ahead and fix it,” said Dr. William Lucas.

During Tuesday’s virtual news conference, leaders at Kennedy Space Center in Florida say the SLS rocket has met several objectives.

They also say finding issues is the point with a wet dress rehearsal. If everything was perfect, there would be no need for a test.

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