Lunar mission Artemis 1 passes fuel load test

NASA's Artemis 1 lunar rocket receives fuel during a crucial 'wet trial' test on June 20, 2022. / POT

Science | Astronomy

This concludes the so-called wet dress rehearsal, crucial before the actual launch, despite the hydrogen leak that occurred during fueling

Elena Martin Lopez

Second time lucky. Although last April the so-called wet dress rehearsal for the Artemisa 1 mission was
a failure Due to failures during fuel loading, which forced NASA to suspend the tests and move the spacecraft to the assembly building for repairs, the new test began last Saturday, June 18, and ended successfully on Monday.

This has been the first time that the US agency has managed to fully load all the propellant tanks of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and carry out the final launch countdown. However, there were some complications. During propellant loading operations launch controllers found a hydrogen leak which they tried to fix on the spot, but their efforts did not solve the problem. "In a real launch countdown, such data would have raised red flags," NASA officials have said, but in this case the mishap involved only a three-hour delay, not a stoppage.

Artemis 1 launch manager Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said it was "a great day" and that she was "so proud of the team and everything they've done." The wet test was the last crucial test Artemis 1 needed to complete before launch which, having been delayed several times, looks set to finally take place at the end of August. In the real mission, the SLS rocket – made up of a rocket and two propellers – will launch the Orion capsule to the Moon without a crew, on a round trip that will last approximately one month.

Artemis 1 will be the first in a series of expeditions with which NASA aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a springboard to send astronauts to Mars. . Now, the NASA team will analyze the results of this operation and draw conclusions about the improvements and updates that must be made for the actual launch.

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