NASA scrubs first attempt at SLS countdown rehearsal

Up to date 6:30 p.m. with feedback from briefing.

DENVER — NASA referred to as off the primary try to gasoline its House Launch System rocket and undergo a observe countdown April 3, citing an issue with the rocket’s cellular launcher, however hopes to strive once more April 4.

NASA introduced shortly earlier than 12 p.m. Japanese that it was scrubbing its moist gown rehearsal (WDR) for the SLS earlier than crews began loading any liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant into the automobile. The company mentioned followers within the cellular launch platform, required to create optimistic stress in enclosed areas of the platform to keep away from a buildup of hazardous gases, weren’t working.

Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA Artemis launch director, mentioned in a name with reporters late within the day that one fan malfunctioned when a breaker tripped. Technicians had been despatched in to take a look at it however couldn’t resolve it, so controllers switched to a redundant fan. “It wasn’t lengthy after that we bought the decision that that fan, too, had skilled a difficulty,” she mentioned, including it was a special downside. “We made the choice to face all the way down to get right into a configuration to go troubleshoot that.”

She mentioned it ought to take 4 to 5 hours to resolve the issues. That will enable a second try at loading propellants onto the automobile early April 4, following a schedule just like what had been deliberate for April 3. The malfunctioning followers “is the one actual subject” groups are inspecting, she added.

Even earlier than the fan downside NASA was working delayed with the check, the place the core and higher levels of the SLS are full of propellants and undergo a countdown that stops at roughly T-10 seconds. Extreme thunderstorms April 2 delayed WDR actions at Launch Advanced 39B, together with a number of lightning strikes on protecting towers on the pad.

There have been 4 lightning strikes, together with one significantly highly effective one which hit a catenary between two lightning safety towers, mentioned Mike Sarafin, NASA Artemis mission supervisor, on the decision. All 4 had been cleared earlier than the the choice early April 3 to proceed with the WDR.

Blackwell-Thompson mentioned the fan issues don’t look like linked to the lightning strikes. The followers had been working repeatedly at a decrease pace for the reason that launch platform arrived on the pad, and moved into a special mode for hazardous operations for a number of hours earlier than the issue.

If NASA doesn’t full the WDR on April 4, future plans will rely upon how far into the check they get. Sarafin mentioned in the event that they get previous a “sure level” in loading propellants, NASA must stand down for a pair days to replenish shares of liquid hydrogen. If the check is scrubbed earlier than that time, NASA might search to strive once more April 5, however after that they run into “various vary conflicts” just like the launch of a Falcon 9 on the Ax-1 crewed mission to the Worldwide House Station from neighboring Launch Advanced 39A.

“We’ve bought Monday [April 4] within the bag for certain as as try. Tuesday is a particular chance however requires some further coordination,” he mentioned. “After that, we’ll should play it day-to-day.”

NASA began WDR actions April 3 about one hour delayed, in response to tweets posted by Jeremy Parsons, deputy supervisor of the Exploration Floor Methods program at KSC. Tweets and weblog posts had been the first means NASA used to supply updates concerning the check after claiming that export management restrictions prevented it from offering audio from the launch management heart or another commentary.

The WDR is the ultimate main check earlier than the inaugural launch of the SLS on the uncrewed Artemis-1 mission. NASA officers mentioned at a March 29 briefing that, if the check goes nicely, the company might be prepared in a couple of week to set a launch date for the mission, doubtless no sooner than June.

The WDR, whereas meant to simulate a countdown, provides better flexibility to right issues than what crews would have throughout an precise countdown. “We’re lucky to have this flexibility throughout at this time’s check, however would function in another way on launch day,” Parsons tweeted shortly earlier than the check was scrubbed for the day.

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.