NASA resumes moon rocket wet dress rehearsal countdown – Spaceflight Now


The moon rocket of NASA Space Launch System is in class 39B. Found: NASA / Ben Smegelsky

NASA resumed two days of costume training Tuesday for the new Space Launch System moon rocket after a series of unrelated glitches, mostly related to Earth systems, were blocked by two first attempt to fully fill the main launcher to confirm its readiness for flight.

The problem with the rocket – a problem with the helium pressurization valve on the second stage of the booster – could not be fixed on the release plate and the engineers could not install the cryogenic supercold actuators in the stage. during the resumption of activities on Friday as previously planned.

But the company will focus on loading the SLS base with 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen fuel and 196,000 gallons of liquid oxygen by Thursday morning, testing their ability to monitor and control the environment. flow of accelerators, which allows the control room to order and validate programs through two boxes. the counting test is running.

In one, the number presses down the 33-second T-minus signal before reverting back to the 10-minute T-minus to test the necessary procedures if a problem occurs. actual starting number.

The second run will then be marked by a T-minus of 9.3 seconds, the time before the major engine start-up commands are sent for the actual start. At that point, the computer ground sequencer will complete the count when the test is complete.

The primary objectives of the quantitative experiment were to charge the two levels with water oxygen and hydrogen.

But it’s also about testing the Launch Control Center, the objects (earth support equipment), our sister’s control centers … Thompson, NASA’s first female astronaut.

Given the helium valve problem, the team looked at which of those goals we could go and achieve without having to push to a high level. We want to get as much data as we can to stay on board. The information will guide us and tell us what we need to do next. “

It is not known if testing the new fuel will be needed some time before the start, but the highest level of SLS, called the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, or ICPS, cannot be achieved with propellants unless the base base is filled.

In each case, the scheduled dress code test began at 5:30 pm Tuesday as scheduled. If all goes well, melting operations will begin around 7 am Thursday with a cut -off for 2:40 pm

Although the upper level is not filled with propellants, water oxygen and hydrogen flow through the starting pad transmission lines and into the ICPS pipe to ensure that the system does not leak.

After the test is completed, engineers will spend about 10 days preparing the rocket and its base station for the 4.2-mile journey back to the Railway Station where it will be closed. and the helium valve.

We do not know what will happen next. NASA plans to launch the SLS on its first flight, expanding the unpiloted Orion capsule more than a month or so later, sometime this summer, but it will depend on what is needed for further testing. .

“This is the first flight of a project that is supposed to last for years, take us back to the moon… and someday go to Mars,” Blackwell-Thompson said. “And so when you think about that investment, and you think about the first flight, you have to think you’re going to learn things.

“You can’t fly first without training. And what do you do when you get something? You change, you look at the data, you develop a plan and you allow the data to take you to the next level. And thatʻs what we do to get this amazing car ready to fly.

The Space Launch System rocket is the most powerful launcher ever built for NASA, a key component of the company’s Artemis project to return astronauts to the moon.

Equipped with two solid fuel additives and a base level used by the most modified aircraft car engines, the SLS rocket will release scales at 5.75 million pounds when lifted and raising 8.8 million pounds of growth, it would be a great deal. A strong rock did not fly.

The 322-foot SLS was pulled to start pad 39B on March 18 and engineers began the first test at a clothing training number on April 1st.

Before firing began two days later, the team had problems with fans that needed to be pressed into the rocket’s base station, a common practice that prevent free hydrogen gas from entering various rooms and threatening fire.

The problem could not be fixed immediately and the production of the fuel was postponed by one day until April 4. Two earth system problems delayed further before the helium valve problem was discovered. The engineers decided to print before Tuesday with a revised number.

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