Artemis is the first step in the next era of human exploration
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Overnight, launch controllers powered up the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket’s core stage.
Tanking operations are scheduled to occur on Thursday, April 14.
The countdown will begin 30 minutes later at 5:30 p.m. or L-45 hours, 10 minutes before the initial target T-0 for the wet dress rehearsal test for NASA’s Artemis I mission.
Teams are proceeding with a modified test, primarily focused on tanking the core stage and minimal propellant operations on the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) with the ground systems at Kennedy.
Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force 45th Space Wing predict favorable weather for propellant loading operations.
Weather constraints stipulate there must be less than a 20% chance lightning within 5 nautical miles of pad during the first hour of tanking. Winds also must not be above 37.5 knots and the temperature cannot be below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Communications links between Orion and the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston were verified, and preparations of the four RS-25 engines, which will not be lit during the wet dress rehearsal, continued.
Over the next several hours, controllers will charge Orion’s batteries and conduct final preparations and closeout activities for the umbilicals.
The umbilicals provide power, communications, coolant, and fuel to different parts of the rocket.
Additional accessories provide access and stabilize the rocket and spacecraft. During launch, each umbilical releases from its connection point, allowing the rocket and spacecraft to lift off safely from the launch pad.
The mission management team is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. EDT to review the status of operations. The next update will be posted after the conclusion of the meeting.
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