NASA calls Artemis I dress rehearsal a success despite missed objectives

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Despite not being able to check all their boxes, NASA is calling the latest test of its next moon rocket a success.

Teams managed to completely fuel the Artemis I rocket for the first time during a wet dress rehearsal Monday.

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Teams say they learned plenty from the test, just as they did during their previous three test attempts.

With most of the objectives met, the Artemis team says they now must determine the best way forward.

In addition to fully fueling the rocket for the first time, NASA was able to practice a terminal launch countdown despite a hydrogen leak during the rehearsal.

Artemis I will be an un-crewed flight test of the SLS Rocket and Orion Spacecraft around the moon.

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“They met most of the objectives, but there are still a few objectives that were unmet,” Ken Kremer of Space UpClose said. “What they have to decide is whether those unmet objectives are significant enough to cause another wet dress rehearsal.”

During a teleconference update, Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson addressed that question.

“I’m a big believer in collecting the data, and so, we’ll go collect the data and see where that takes us,” Blackwell-Thompson said.

Teams will also have to address the hydrogen leak.

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“They tried to fix the seal by warming it and re-cooling it and hoping it would reseat. It did not,” Kremer explained. “Then they basically told the computer controller to ignore that.”

That, of course, only works during a rehearsal. Over the next few days, the Artemis team will decide if they’ve learned enough to set an Artemis I launch date or a date for what would be a fifth launch rehearsal.

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