BREVAR COUNTY, Fla. — The countdown to NASA’s last major test ahead of its uncrewed mission around the moon had to be delayed for a second time.
On Sunday a ground systems issue caused teams to scrub a scheduled “wet dress rehearsal”.
Then on Monday afternoon, as crews began filling the SLS rocket’s tank with 700,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the test had to be called off again, this time for a vent valve issue.
The rehearsal is the last major test before the actual launch of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft around the moon.
Dr. Ken Kremer, managing editor of Space UpClose, said when dealing with something as complex as a new rocket, delays are to be expected.
“The problems they’ve had on the pad really aren’t insurmountable; they’re pretty easy to solve, but you can’t solve them in a few minutes,” Kremer said.
NASA had been hoping to launch in May, but with the recent delays, that date could be pushed to later in the year.
NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said the agency will continue to work through the wet dress rehearsal.
“First time you do anything you learn a lot, and we will continue to work through all the testing, checks and fuel tests that we need.” Melroy said.
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.
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