NASA executes critical countdown test for the Artemis I moon mission

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA’s fourth attempt at a wet dress rehearsal for the Artemis I moon mission successfully reached the “terminal count” phase for the first time on Monday.

Update: NASA fueled its massive moon rocket for the first time on Monday and went successfully executed a critical countdown test.

According to NASA, the launch team went through the T-10 countdown stopping at T-29 seconds.

Previous Story: NASA’s fourth wet dress rehearsal for the Artemis I moon mission is taking place, in preparation for the uncrewed flight test around the moon.

On Monday, the team was forced to do some troubleshooting while fueling the massive SLS rocket with 700,000 gallons of supercooled propellant.

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The team also had to address a pressure surge that delayed the upper-stage liquid oxygen fill, as well as a core-stage hydrogen leak.

“This team is completely dedicated. They’ve worked extremely hard to get to where we are today,” said Jeremy Graeber, Artemis I assistant launch director. “I don’t like to think of this as a new mission. I think of it as an extension of all we’ve been working towards since NASA started out.”

Read: Final preparations underway for NASA’s next Artemis I wet dress rehearsal

Monday’s wet dress rehearsal, at Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center will run the Artemis I launch team through a variety of tests, including a full launch countdown and other procedures the team will use for launch.

“So, you’re ringing out the system making sure you don’t have any issues. You don’t want to find those out on launch day or when we roll out for launch,” said Cliff Ianham, senior vehicle operations manager for exploration ground systems.

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Artemis I is the first in a series of missions that NASA says will pave the way for future crewed missions to the moon and Mars.

The team is working on a plan to reseal at the hydrogen leak so they continue today’s practice countdown to launch.

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