NASA will attempt Space Launch System rocket test in June

NASA will attempt another test of its new Space Launch System rocket next month, agency officials confirmed this week. After three failed attempts at a wet dress rehearsal, where the rocket is taken to the launch pad and filled with fuel, the rocket remains in its storage building until early to mid-June.

Technicians will continue to work on the issues discovered during previous wet rehearsals, the first of which was held on Sunday, April 3, while the rocket remains in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center. As reported by SpaceNews, NASA officials said in a conference call that they had made progress in resolving two of the issues encountered during the tests, including replacing a helium check value that had remained open during the second test on April 4. stand.

NASA said the reading got stuck open because of a small piece of rubber in it that prevented it from closing, and they were still investigating where the rubber came from.

Another problem was a leak of the liquid hydrogen fuel used to power the rocket, forcing the third attempt at the wet dress rehearsal to be called off on April 16. The probable cause of this leak turned out to be loose bolts on a gasket, which had since been tightened. Cliff Lanham, Senior Vehicle Operations Manager for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program, said they think this should solve the leak problem, but they won’t know for sure until they try to run fuel through the pipes again.

NASA will attempt its fourth attempt at wet dress rehearsal in early June or mid-June, officials said. But they also warned that after this one it may take another rehearsal to get the rocket ready for its first orbital launch.

The rocket’s launch was tentatively scheduled as part of the Artemis I mission in June this year, but has now been postponed to August at the earliest.

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