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Artemis I Dress Rehearsal Ends Due to Liquid Hydrogen Leak

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 15, 2022
Filed under , , , , , ,
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen at sunrise atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B, Monday, April 4, 2022, as the Artemis I launch team conducts the wet dress rehearsal test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Teams concluded today’s wet dress rehearsal test at approximately 5:10 p.m. EDT after observing a liquid hydrogen (LH2) leak on the tail service mast umbilical, which is located at the base of the mobile launcher and connects to the rocket’s core stage. The leak was discovered during liquid hydrogen loading operations and prevented the team from completing the test.

Before ending the test, teams also met test objectives for the interim cryogenic propulsion stage by chilling down the lines used to load propellant into the upper stage. They did not flow any propellant to the stage because of an issue with a helium check valve identified several days ago.

When teams paused propellant loading, the rocket’s core stage liquid oxygen tank was about 49% filled and the liquid hydrogen tank had been loaded to about 5% capacity prior to the hydrogen leak.

Teams are now working to drain propellant from the rocket. They will inspect the umbilical connection, review data, and establish a go-forward plan to address the hydrogen leak.

NASA plans to host a media teleconference April 15 to provide updates on troubleshooting and next steps for the wet dress rehearsal test.

17 responses to “Artemis I Dress Rehearsal Ends Due to Liquid Hydrogen Leak”

  1. schmoe says:

    Best case scenario:

    NASA completes the SLS WDR within the next 2 weeks.

    Medium case scenario:

    The gremlins plaguing the SLS WDR drags on for more than 2 weeks and forces another postponement to allow NASA Crew-4 to launch on April 28.

    Worst case scenario:

    SLS WDR experiences gremlin after gremlin, requires pause in testing for Crew-4 and then Starliner OFT-2 in May.

    Worst-worst case scenario:

    Both SLS WDR and Starliner OFT-2 experiences even more problems and delays. 😛

    Place your bets! 🙂

  2. Robert G. Oler says:

    Best to Medium case

  3. ThomasLMatula says:

    Meanwhile BN7 aced its pressure test down Boca Chica while one of the “frighten and endangered” birds mugged for the camera filming it.

  4. schmoe says:

    Looks like those of you who picked the worst case scenario win. 😀

    Eric Berger hears NASA will roll the SLS back to the VAB and do the repairs and try the WDR again in June, after OFT-2 (hopefully OFT-2 goes off as planned).

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