Engineers are evaluating data gathered during the Artemis I launch attempt Monday, Aug. 29, when teams could not get the rocket’s engines to the proper temperature range required to start the engines at liftoff, and ran out of time in the two-hour launch window to continue. The mission management team will convene Tuesday afternoon to discuss the data and develop a plan forward.
The Space Launch System’s four RS-25 engines must be thermally conditioned before super cold propellant begins flowing through them for liftoff. Launch controllers condition them by increasing the pressure on the core stage liquid hydrogen tank to route, or “bleed” as it is often called, a portion of the approximately minus 423 F liquid hydrogen to the engines. Managers suspect the issue, seen on engine 3, is unlikely to be the result of a problem with the engine itself.
During the countdown, launch controllers worked through several additional issues, including storms in the area that delayed the start of propellant loading operations, a leak at the quick disconnect on the 8-inch line used to fill and drain core stage liquid hydrogen, and a hydrogen leak from a valve used to vent the propellant from the core stage intertank.
NASA will host a media teleconference Tuesday, Aug. 30, at approximately 6 p.m. EDT to provide an update on data analysis and discussions. The time is subject to change. While managers have not yet set a date for the next launch attempt, the earliest possible opportunity is Friday, Sept. 2, during a two-hour launch window that opens at 12:48 p.m.