NASA is proceeding with Green Run testing of the Artemis I core stage at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. After refining the procedures for test operations, NASA is planning to conduct a full wet dress rehearsal next week.
On Dec. 5, engineers powered up the stage to start wet dress rehearsal testing and successfully conducted an initial propellant loading on Dec. 7. This partial loading showed the stage performed well and has given the NASA and Boeing team a valuable opportunity to practice loading procedures and monitor the Artemis I core stage as it is exposed to cryogenic, or supercold, liquids for the first time. While performing operations to load liquid oxygen propellant earlier in the day, data showed the temperature of the propellant was warmer than planned, and the NASA and Boeing team paused the test to take a closer look at the data before committing to loading all 700,000 gallons of propellant. The team proceeded with loading a limited amount of liquid hydrogen, cooled to minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit, without any issues.
After an integrated assessment of the core stage and the facility, the team identified processes and equipment that could be modified to keep the liquid oxygen at the proper temperature during delivery to the stage. The team is now implementing these changes while Stennis personnel replenish propellants and other commodities needed to run the full wet dress rehearsal.
The wet dress rehearsal is the seventh of eight Green Run tests and the last before the hot fire test of the entire stage. The purpose of the wet dress rehearsal is to complete propellant loading operations and thoroughly check out the core stage’s complex systems as they are exposed to cryogenic propellant for the first time. Following wet dress rehearsal, the team will analyze the data and set a date for the hot fire test
Tune in to nasa.gov/live at 12 p.m. EST Thursday, Dec. 10 to for more details on the upcoming test in the Green Run testing series for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage that will fly on the agency’s Artemis I mission.
Check back at this blog for the date of the full wet dress rehearsal and other updates on Green Run testing.