NASA’s moon rocket test canceled on Saturday, here's why

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA’s critical test of the SLS moon rocket was scrubbed on Saturday.

The test was originally scheduled to begin on April 9, with T-0 planned for 2:40 p.m. EST on April 11.

Saturday’s start was canceled after engineers identified a helium check valve that was not functioning properly.


Helium is used for several different operations, including purging the engine, or clearing the lines, prior to loading propellants during tanking, as well as draining propellants.

According to NASA, the wet dress rehearsal will now resume with the call to stations on Tuesday, April 12, and tanking on Thursday, April 14.

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The test, known as the “wet dress rehearsal”, 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.

The uncrewed flight test will pave the way for missions to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon.

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“From this sacred and historical place, humanity will soon embark on a new era of exploration,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “Artemis I will demonstrate NASA’s commitment and capacity to extend humanity’s presence on the moon – and beyond.”

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