NASA’s second attempt to refuel its Artemis 1 lunar mission ran into another problem on Monday (April 4) due to a valve failure on ground equipment.
A vent valve jammed into the top of the portable actuator chassis that supports Artemis 1’s space launch system A rocket on Launch Pad 39B of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center forced NASA to clean up Artemis 1 Testing agency officials said after refueling began on Monday.
“Because [to] Ventilation valve issue, the launch manager canceled the test for the day,” Jeremy Parsons, NASA Deputy Administrator for Ground Systems, Wrote in Twitter update after peeling. “The team is preparing to unload the LOX (liquid oxygen) and will begin discussing how fast the car will spin on the next attempt.”
The stuck vent valve was 160 feet (49 m) from the portable actuator, which serves as the giant platform and launch pad for the SLS, according to Parsons.
Monday’s refueling bid was NASA’s second attempt to fill the 322-foot (98 m) Artemis 1 rocket’s core stage with 700,000 gallons (2.6 million liters) of highly cooled liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel in what the agency calls a “wet rehearsal.” The test, which began on April 1, includes a full rehearsal for the countdown to launch, including the refueling process.
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NASA attempted to refuel an Artemis 1 lunar rocket on Sunday (April 3) But it stopped before loading the fuel It started due to a pressure problem on the portable actuator that keeps hazardous gases out of the enclosed areas where technicians work. On Monday, technicians loaded about 50% of the liquid oxygen needed for a refueling test before standing for the day, Parsons wrote on twitter.
Monday’s test was initially intended to simulate the countdown to launch which will end at 2:40 PM EDT (11840 GMT), but delays related to the rocket’s nitrogen gas supplier halted that work. Once that problem was resolved, NASA aimed to simulate a launch time of 6:02 p.m. EDT (2202 GMT) before a stuck valve would drive the scrubbing.
It’s not clear if NASA will be able to recycle for its third refueling attempt on Tuesday (April 5) or have to step down to replenish the fuel supply and allow its crews and launch controllers to rest. Meanwhile, a special task to International Space Station Waiting in the wings for flight time.
SpaceX It aims to launch four private astronauts to the International Space Station in Ax mission 1 for Axiom Space in Houston. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the mission from Pad 39A, located near Artemis 1’s Pad 39B.
SpaceX and Axiom Space It originally planned to launch the Ax-1 mission on April 3, but pushed it to April 6 to allow NASA rehearsal time for Artemis 1. After NASA’s Artemis 1 delays on Sunday, SpaceX postponed the launch again, this time until Friday (April 8) .
Continuing or delaying the Ax-1 mission on April 8 again depends on NASA’s plans to test the Artemis 1 fuel supply. In another launch traffic wrinkle, SpaceX is also preparing to launch four more astronauts to the NASA space station on April 20 as part of its work. Crew Mission 4. That flight will launch three NASA astronauts and one European Space Agency astronaut to the orbiting laboratory.
But Crew-4 will have to wait for the launch of the Ax-1 mission (because they are both launched from Pad 39A), which in turn is waiting for NASA to finish rehearsal for Artemis 1. As it stands, Crew-4 is currently scheduled to launch on April 20 and has already seen delays in its own schedule.
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