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NASA Repairs Leaky Fuel Seals on Artemis I's SLS Rocket, Next Launch Try Sep 23rd

Rocket launch scrubs are just a part of the territory. Even so, watching two back-to-back scrubs of the SLS rocket carrying the Artemis I Orion spacecraft to a trip around the Moon was like taking two football punts right in the feels. After a second go around where a Hydrogen fuel leak put a stop to the launch window, NASA believes the problem's well on the way to being fixed.
SLS Rocket 21 photos
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Just seven days after this disappointing no-go, NASA says they've replaced the faulty seals connecting Launch Complex 39B's umbilical fuel supply lines to the 320-plus foot tall rocket, allowing the SLS to fill its cryogenic hydrogen tanks. Hopefully, without excess quantities venting to the atmosphere. Thus delaying fueling and making meeting launch window timeslots extremely difficult.

The next step in the Artemis I mission, now delayed over a week and counting, will consist of a complex tanking ground test that will stress the new cryo-fuel umbilical seals under genuine fueling conditions to determine if they work as advertised. If successful, this should lead to another launch attempt on September 23rd, with a backup window selected for September 27th. Of course, factors like wind, rain, and temperature conditions are just as vital as ensuring the rocket operates as intended.

No information is present yet on expected weather for either launch window. But the situation is currently being monitored by the United States Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron stationed at nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force base information regarding impending weather conditions. The Space Force will make that information public in the days leading up to the next launch attempt. In the meantime, NASA's decision to forgo rolling back to the Vehicle Assembly Building and fix mechanical issues on the pad is perhaps the most hopeful sign that we will indeed see the launch of Artemis I by the time September is out.



 
 
 
 
 

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