It turned out to be a nightmare, and after three failed attempts to see the test fully through, NASA decided to remove the rocket from the pad and fix it before having another go at it.
The assembly arrived at VAB in the early hours of the day, after a 10-hour journey to cover the distance from the pad. It will not be taken out again for weeks, possibly even months, as engineers will try and fix what went wrong.
Over the following days, rocket scientists will arrange the work platforms around the rocket and the capsule it carries. Once that is done, they will spend weeks replacing the faulty upper stage check valve that caused so many issues, finding a fix for a leak in the tail service mast umbilical ground plate housing, and performing other checks to see if there’s something that might have been overlooked.
At the time of writing, NASA does not say when the SLS is expected to roll out again, but the delays to the Artemis program will quickly begin to pile up. That’s because once the fixes are ready, weeks from now, the rocket will once again roll to the pad, to perform the test, then back to VAB for first launch preparations, and out to the pad again for the actual mission. And all of that takes time.
SLS is now completing the final bit of its journey into High Bay 3 of the VAB. The pleasant weather and clear skies made for a rather beautiful overnight journey#Artemis1 #NASA #SLS pic.twitter.com/IELACPqRKl— Derek Wise (@derekiswise) April 26, 2022