At approximately 5 p.m. EDT, or L-45 hours, 40 minutes before the initial targeted test T-0, the launch team arrived at their stations inside the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The countdown is now underway for the wet dress rehearsal test for NASA’s Artemis I mission.
Prior to “call to stations” the team completed several activities including closing the Orion crew module hatch and conducting leak checks. Technicians then closed the hatch on the launch abort system and conducted final activities in the White Room, the access point between Orion and the Mobile Launcher. The crew access arm, where the White Room is located, was retracted away from the spacecraft and rocket. On March 31, Orion was powered-up and will remain on throughout the duration of the test.
Teams are now filling the sound suppression system with water at the launch pad, which is used to dampen and absorb acoustic energy during liftoff. Even though the Space Launch System engines will not fire during this test, teams are practicing carrying out operations as they would on launch day.
Overnight, teams will charge the SLS core stage batteries and configure ground systems to power up the stage, and purge and remove ducts for the RS-25 engines. The next operational update will be posted the morning of April 2.
Watch a live video stream of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad now on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel. In addition to updates on this blog, NASA also will provide operational updates on the Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account from Jeremy Parsons, deputy manager for Exploration Ground Systems.