(ORDO NEWS) — NASA officials announced that the recent bench tests of the lunar rocket ended successfully, and now the agency expects to launch the mission into space in the second half of August.
Components of the Artemis 1 (Artemis-1) mission – the Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle with the Orion capsule (Orion) on board – will go back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on July 1 , located in Florida, USA, where a powerful rocket and spacecraft are awaiting repair and further preparation for launch.
During the Artemis 1 mission, which will be the very first mission for the SLS rocket, an unmanned Orion capsule will be sent aboard the launch vehicle for a mission lasting approximately one month to fly around the moon.
There have been numerous delays in preparation for this mission, most recently during the latest wet-dress rehearsal (WDR) test, which is a bench test of a fully assembled missile with fuel components but no ignition of the engines, and was associated with an incomplete implementation of the planned refueling test program.
During this test, which took place last Monday, June 20, engineers were able to fully fuel the SLS rocket for the first time.
During the test, a leak was detected in the supply line of the main stage engine cooling system, but the engineers responsible for conducting the test determined that this failure did not pose a safety risk and continued to simulate the countdown.
Ultimately, this turned out to be the right decision, and the test was considered a success, members of the Artemis 1 mission team said.
After completing a few more small tests on the site, the rocket will be delivered to the VBA assembly shop, where over the course of 6-8 weeks, repairs and pre-launch work will be carried out, including the elimination of a hydrogen leak from the line, the completion of the placement of the payload in the compartments of the Orion capsule, and also downloading the software for the main and upper stages of the SLS rocket, followed by the installation of electric batteries.
The abort system will be tested and the rocket and spacecraft will then be transported to Kennedy Space Center pad 39B for a tentatively planned launch from August 23 to 29.
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