NASA plans to make another attempt to test the Artemis 1 SLS rocket in early June for the last time before launching it into space. The space agency said it would bring the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in early June for the next wet dress rehearsal attempt. A wet dress rehearsal involves following all the procedures on the day of the launch, including refueling, without actually starting the mission. This activity is aimed at finding problems with the system and fixing them in time for the actual startup.
With June as the target for the next test attempt, the launch of the unnamed Artemis 1 mission is expected to be postponed again. The ambitious mission to send people to the moon has encountered several delays in its timeline. On the first flight, NASA will not send astronauts, but the Orion spacecraft will fly around our nearest celestial neighbor to study it.
NASA, in a blog post, said his engineers had successfully dealt with problems identified during previous SLS rehearsal attempts, including a leak in the liquid hydrogen system. “Plans call for the next wet dress rehearsal to take place about 14 days after the rocket arrives at the site,” he added. NASA officials say they are looking to launch a window in August.
Previous attempts to hold the wet dress rehearsal had to be either halted in the middle or postponed due to technical problems. The agency first postponed the final tests, scheduled for April 4th, after finding problems with the helium check valve. A second attempt, on April 14, was prevented after a leak was detected during liquid hydrogen refueling operations. The rocket had to be returned to the vehicle assembly building for troubleshooting.
SLS is designed to be the most a powerful rocket ever made and can carry more payload into deep space than any other vehicle. NASA plans to use it for human exploration of the moon and Mars and send robotic missions to Saturn and Jupiter.