The first rehearsal for the launch of the Artemis 1 mission wasn’t a complete success for NASA. The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket has been transported to Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B for the rehearsal.But the process from 1Uh April, which was originally scheduled to end in 2 days, was not completed due to various technical issues. The rocket’s fuel supply had to be suspended three times, and eventually, the SLS rocket returned to the hangar on April 25.
Now we know that NASA has decided to resume this rehearsal or “wet rehearsal” in June. If all goes well, the launch of the Artemis 1 mission, which corresponds to the first flight of the SLS rocket, will take place in August.
Problems encountered during the first refueling attempt included a stuck valve on the mobile tower and a hydrogen leak at the “umbilical” connecting the tower to the rocket.
The SLS rocket was brought back to the VAB or Vehicle Assembly Building so engineers could investigate any technical issues encountered. On May 5, NASA officials released a message about addressing these issues. They reported that everything was fine and provided details of the repair.
One of the repairs performed on the SLS rocket was to replace the faulty valve. Engineers have discovered the source of the latter blockage. A piece of rubber debris reportedly prevented the valve from closing properly. These pieces are not part of the valve and we are still trying to find where it came from.
a long process
So NASA is preparing to launch another SLS rocket around mid-June. If all goes well, the Rockets should begin taking off from the hangar by the end of May, as teams need 12 to 14 days to prepare for rehearsals.
Jim Free, one of the NASA officials, believes the fourth feeding attempt will be successful. However, he added that it may take several attempts before reaching the desired goal.
Free emphasizes that it’s not surprising to have problems controlling a brand new launch system. For example, in the case of the first space shuttle, it was placed on the launch pad for rehearsal in December 1980. However, the first flight finally took place on April 12, 1981.
According to Free, working on these new systems and these complex vehicles is a real challenge. Still hope that the next rehearsal goes well and doesn’t delay the launch of Artemis 1.
resource: space net