After putting on hold its two-day wet dress rehearsal for its Artemis 1 mega moon rocket over safety concerns, NASA said it aims to resume the test on Monday.
The test is the culmination of months of assembly and testing for SLS and Orion, preparations by launch control and engineering teams, and setting of the stage for the first Artemis launch.
The test, scheduled for April 1-3, was stopped on Sunday prior to tanking, due to loss of ability to pressurise the mobile launcher using two fans, NASA said in a statement.
The fans are needed to provide positive pressure to the enclosed areas within the mobile launcher and keep out hazardous gases.
Without this capability, technicians were unable to safely proceed with remotely loading the propellants into the rocket's core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage.
During the dress rehearsal, the team aimed to load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or super-cold propellants into the rocket at the launch pad, practice every phase of the launch countdown, and drain propellants to demonstrate safely standing down on a launch attempt.
"NASA is targeting April 4 to resume the Artemis I wet dress rehearsal test," the officials said. However, it depends on review by the launch control team at 6 a.m. EDT (3.30 p.m. IST).
The team will "review the status of the operations before deciding if they will proceed with propellant loading". And the loading of fuel is expected to begin around 7 a.m. EDT (4.30 p.m. IST), agency officials said during a news conference held on Sunday evening.
Artemis 1 is currently scheduled to launch in May.
The uncrewed Artemis I mission is the first flight of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft together. Future missions will send people to work in lunar orbit and on the Moon's surface.
With the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon and establish long-term exploration in preparation for missions to Mars. SLS and Orion, along with the commercial human landing system and the gateway that will orbit the Moon, are NASA's backbone for deep space exploration.20220404-131626