NASA completes set-up of SLS lunar megarocket

NASA's Luna Artemis I rocket, carried on Tracked Carrier 2, as it approaches Launch Pad 39B at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida

NASA’s Luna Artemis I rocket, carried on Tracked Carrier 2, as it approaches Launch Pad 39B at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida -NASA/BEN SMEGELSKY

June 24. () –

NASA has completed the test campaign of its SLS lunar megarocket, with the general test carried out on June 20, and will now begin launch preparations.

Analyzing the test data, the agency explained this Friday that it will take the SLS (Space Launch System) and the Orion capsule that crowns it back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center next week, to prepare the rocket and spacecraft for launch.

NASA plans to return the rocket and capsule to the launch pad in late August and will set a specific target launch date after replacing hardware associated with a liquid hydrogen leak detected in the June 20 rehearsal. In that test, all systems were checked up to -29 seconds in the launch countdown.

Engineers reviewed the few commands that would have been included in the countdown seconds remaining before the engine start sequence and determined that “those activities had been previously validated in other recent tests”, reports NASA.

Artemis I will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, the SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. As the first in a series of increasingly complex missions consisting of an unmanned trip to and from cislunar space, Artemis I “will pave the way for long-term exploration on the Moon in preparation for human missions to Mars,” says the agency.

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Written by Editor TLN

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