NASA fuels the Artemis I rocket in a crucial troubleshooting test
NASA’s next-generation Moon rocket is all gassed up and has nowhere to go today. Today, the Space Launch System (SLS) was filled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel for an hours-long test of its troubled fuelling system.
After a hydrogen leak halted the rocket’s second launch attempt and the Artemis I mission on September 3rd, NASA was testing a “kinder, gentler” fuelling process. According to NASA, the revised processes were “intended to transition temperature and pressures gently during refueling to lessen the possibility of breaches that may be induced by abrupt changes in temperature or pressure.”
After the test, Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, launch director for NASA’s Artemis program, remarked, “I am quite encouraged.” She refused to predict the schedule of the next launch attempt, stating that the team needed to review today’s data to determine whether the timeframe needed to be adjusted. “I try not to get ahead of the statistics,” she continued.