After several delays, NASA was finally able to begin the “wet test” of the Artemis 1 mission, the main pre-launch test currently scheduled for August. The program started last Saturday and should end on Monday (20). A press conference is scheduled to be held on the 21st, when the analysis results will be announced.
In the latest update released by NASA, engineers have reportedly combined the Orion spacecraft with the main stage of the SLS (Space Launch System). The teams have also built various ground systems, rockets and spacecraft, and conducted activities to prepare rockets and spacecraft to connect to launch vehicles and connectors for power, communications, cooling and fuel. NASA broadcasts the conference live.
Remember the “wet test” of Artemis 1
A “wet test” is a test in which NASA powers a rocket and guarantees a launch. The test initially began on April 1, but after determining a series of critical failures during the loading of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the SLS thrusters, NASA decided to halt the process to prioritize the launch. Private manned missions. On April 8, it flew to the International Space Station (ISS) without any active-duty astronauts from federal agencies present.
So, the “wet rehearsal” resumes next Monday (12) and ends on Wednesday (14). This time, the team in charge was more inclined to modify the program to only supply liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the main stage, without filling the upper stage.
However, again things didn’t go as planned and rehearsals were put on hold, initially hoping to resume on the 21st of the month. After communicating this possible date, NASA announced the recall of the SLS+Orion stack to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for further analysis and necessary analysis of the identified faulty valve in the cell tower mobile unit and a hydrogen leak in one of the umbilical arms The repairs connect the tower to the rocket.
At around 7 a.m. Brasilia time on the 26th, the giant rocket and Orion spacecraft arrived at the VAB at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a 10-hour journey from launch pad 39B, and were inspected from there.
Since then, the team has been working to resolve the issues identified. The faulty valve had been replaced, and engineers found rubber debris preventing it from closing properly. According to the agency, the debris was not part of the valve and its source was under investigation.
They also found that some of the screws on one of the umbilical arms connecting the turret to the rocket had loosened slightly due to loose joint compression, causing the fuel to leak.
More than 50 years after the last manned mission to the moon, the Artemis program aims to restore a human presence on the moon. Artemis 1 will be the first of Artemis’ lunar program. On this initial mission, the Orion capsule travels unmanned to Earth’s natural satellite for about a month.
According to NASA, the mission could last 26 to 28 days, or 38 to 42 days, depending on when SLS can take off. He told the agency in a statement: “The duration of the mission was varied by making a half or 1.5 revolutions around the moon in a far retrograde orbit before returning to Earth.”
If all goes well, the Artemis 2 mission will send astronauts on a similar lunar orbit in 2024. So in 2025 or 2026, Artemis 3 will land astronauts near the south pole of the moon.
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