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Teams Plan to Replace Artemis I Seal on Launch Pad

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 7, 2022
Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion capsule at Launch Complex 39B. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — After standing down on the Artemis I launch attempt Saturday, Sept. 3 due to a hydrogen leak, teams have decided to replace the seal on an interface, called the quick disconnect, between the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line on the mobile launcher and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket while at the launch pad.

Performing the work at the pad requires technicians to set up an enclosure around the work area to protect the hardware from the weather and other environmental conditions, but enables engineers to test the repair under cryogenic, or supercold, conditions. Performing the work at the pad also allows teams to gather as much data as possible to understand the cause of the issue. Teams may return the rocket to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to perform additional work that does not require use of the cryogenic facilities available only at the pad.

To meet the current requirement by the Eastern Range for the certification on the flight termination system, NASA would need to roll the rocket and spacecraft back to the VAB before the next launch attempt to reset the system’s batteries.

Additionally, teams will also check plate coverings on other umbilical interfaces to ensure there are no leaks present at those locations. With seven main umbilical lines, each line may have multiple connection points.

20 responses to “Teams Plan to Replace Artemis I Seal on Launch Pad”

  1. lopan says:

    They’ll find something else needing a VAB vacation. And another, and another. It’s a rickety piece of junk that they were never allowed to properly test, and endless cycles of fake rollout and perpetual rollback appear to be its intended fate.

  2. Stanistani says:

    At some point they need to let several items get waived and launch it anyway.

    Unless it does a RUD on the pad, they will find out a lot.

    • ThomasLMatula says:

      Yes, the SRBs joints are only good for a year once stacked and they were stacked 20 months ago. Then you have all the cyclings of the fuel tanks starting with the delays in the static fires at Stennis a while ago. Also the Orion has been waiting a while for its ride.

      I guess when the stack of waivers is a tall as the rocket they will launch. Pity that the escape tower is inert, it would be a great way to test it if the SLS did go RUD.

  3. Greg Brance says:

    I hope they can get the issues fixed on the pad and have a successful launch soon.

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