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NASA Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal Update: Final Umbilical Preparations Complete

A view of the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft just before sunrise at Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 23, 2022. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

The mission management team for Artemis I met this morning to review the status of operations and continues to press ahead toward terminal countdown for the wet dress rehearsal test. Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 currently predict favorable weather conditions for tanking on April 14. There is currently a 5% chance of lightning within five nautical miles of the launch pad when tanking begins. Weather constraints stipulate there must be less than a 20% chance of lightning within 5 nautical miles of the pad during the first hour of tanking. Winds must not be above 37.5 knots and the temperature cannot be below 41 degrees FahrenheitThe Fahrenheit scale is a temperature scale, named after the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and based on one he proposed in 1724. In the Fahrenheit temperature scale, the freezing point of water freezes is 32 °F and water boils at 212 °F, a 180 °F separation, as defined at sea level and standard atmospheric pressure. ” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>Fahrenheit.

An artist illustration of the mobile launcher with umbilical lines
installed on the tower and attached to NASA’s Space Launch
System rocket and Orion spacecraft. Credit: NASA

Final preparations on the umbilicals to ensure connectivity between the mobile launcher, the Space Launch System rocket, and Orion spacecraft were completed this evening.

The umbilicals provide power, communications, coolant, and fuel to different parts of the rocket. Additional accessories provide access and stabilize the rocket and spacecraft. During launch, each umbilical releases from its connection point, allowing the rocket and spacecraft to lift off safely from the launch pad.

Teams have also completed a final walkdown at the pad to verify the rocket and ground equipment are in the correct configuration for tanking operations checking to ensure no foreign object debris is present near the rocket that could present a hazard during the test.

The next update will be provided in the morning of April 14, prior to the mission management team’s pre-tanking briefing where they will review the status of operations and determine if they are “go” to proceed toward tanking operations.

Real-time updates will be provided on the Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account with “go” for tanking targeted on April 14. NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. It's vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity."” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>NASA is also streaming live video of the rocket and spacecraft on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.

NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, or SLSNASA's Space Launch System (SLS) is part of NASA's deep space exploration plans and will launch astronauts on missions to an asteroid and eventually to Mars. As the SLS evolves, the launch vehicle will to be upgraded with more powerful versions. Eventually the SLS will have the lift capability of 130 metric tons, opening new possibilities for missions to places like Saturn and Jupiter.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>SLS, will be the most powerful rocket in the world, with the capability to launch humans beyond Earth’s orbit on Artemis missions. The SLS rocket, powered by four RS-25 core stage engines and two solid rocket boosters, along with an RL10 in-space propulsion engine, provides the energy necessary to launch the Orion spacecraft to the Moon or beyond.

Source: SciTechDaily