Small valve problem forces NASA to modify critical flight test for Artemis I

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — NASA teams are in place to complete a critical two-day test for Artemis I, an uncrewed flight test around the moon.

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However, a faulty valve small enough to fit in your pocket is forcing the agency to modify its “wet dress rehearsal.”

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The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft were rolled out to the pad three weeks ago. This is now NASA’s third attempt to complete its modified wet dress rehearsal. It began again Tuesday evening with a call to stations that the rocket will be fueled on Thursday.

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The rehearsal has been modified in response to an issue with the helium check valve, which isn’t working properly. It means NASA won’t meet all of its test objectives on the pad before the rocket and spacecraft are rolled back into the Vehicle Assembly Building, where they will be able to easily access the faulty valve.

Teams plan to power up the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft overnight in preparation for Thursday’s fueling.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.