NASA “Meatball” Insignia and ESA Logo Added to Artemis I Fairings

The NASA and ESA insignias are in view on the Orion space adapter jettison fairing in the MPPF at Kennedy Space Center.
Artemis I extends NASA and ESA’s (European Space Agency) strong international partnership beyond low-Earth orbit to lunar exploration with Orion on Artemis missions, as the ESA logo joins the historic NASA “meatball” insignia on the Artemis I spacecraft adapter jettison fairing panels that protect the service module during launch. Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson

NASA’s Artemis I Orion spacecraft is being outfitted with additional artwork as technicians began installing the logo for ESA (European Space Agency). ESA provided the European-built service module, which provides power and propulsion for the Orion spacecraft, and will also provide water and air for astronauts on future missions.

The NASA and ESA insignias are in view on the Orion spacecraft adapter jettison fairing inside the MPPF at Kennedy Space Center.
The ESA (European Space Agency) logo joins the historic NASA “meatball” insignia on the Artemis I spacecraft adapter jettison fairing panels that protect the service module during launch. Orion is currently stationed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the Multi-Payload Processing Facility. Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson

Artemis I extends NASA and ESA’s strong international partnership beyond low-Earth orbit to lunar exploration with Orion on Artemis missions. The ESA logo joins the historic NASA “meatball” insignia on the Artemis I spacecraft adapter jettison fairing panels that protect the service module during launch.

Orion is currently stationed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the Multi-Payload Processing Facility, where it will undergo fueling and servicing by NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and Jacobs Technology teams in preparation for the upcoming flight test with the Space Launch System rocket under the agency’s Artemis program.

Green Run Update: NASA Investigating Valve Performance Before Second Hot Fire

NASA’s is reviewing the performance of a valve on the core stage of the Space Launch System rocket before proceeding with a second hot fire test at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

During checkout preparations over the weekend, engineers determined that one of eight valves (a type of valve called a prevalve) was not working properly. This valve is part of the core stage main propulsion system that supplies liquid oxygen to an RS-25 engine. During the first hot fire, all four liquid oxygen valves performed as expected as did the four liquid hydrogen valves. NASA and the core stage lead contractor Boeing will identify a path forward in the days ahead and reschedule the hot fire test that was originally scheduled for Feb. 25.

The Artemis I core stage is in the B-2 Test Stand for Green Run testing
The Artemis I core stage is in the B-2 Test Stand for Green Run testing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (NASA image)

NASA is testing the new core stage on the ground to check out the operation of all systems before flight, as the agency has done with every new rocket stage ever flown. The core stage is the center core of the rocket that includes two propellant tanks and four RS-25 engines, miles of cables, all the avionics, electronics, computers – the brains of the rocket – and the plumbing that work together to launch the rocket during the first eight minutes of the mission. The Green Run test series is a comprehensive test of the core stage before it launches the Artemis missions to the Moon.

Check back at this blog for an update on the completion of the review and actions needed to resolve the issue, as well as the schedule for the hot fire test. For more information about SLS Green Run, visit https://www.nasa.gov/artemisprogram/greenrun

Green Run Update: SLS Team Finalizing Preparations for Second Hot Fire Test

The core stage Green Run test team completed a test readiness review today and is preparing for a second hot fire test with the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on Feb. 25.

At the review, NASA, Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, the RS-25 engine prime contractor, gave the “go” for proceeding with the test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. In the coming days, the team will conduct systems checkouts and final inspections to ensure the core stage, its four RS-25 engines and the Green Run software and stage controller are ready for the hot fire. Engineers plan to power up the core stage on Tuesday, Feb. 23 ahead of the hot fire. The first SLS core stage hot fire test on Jan. 16, the first time all four engines were ignited, provided the team with significant data that informed process and procedures for the upcoming test.

Green Run Checklist
Green Run is a series of eight tests, and the hot fire is the last and most intensive test. It is an integrated test of the entire core stage with its four RS-25 engines firing at the same time. As the core stage team has completed the checkouts and tests, they have learned and finetuned the operations for this complex new rocket stage. The knowledge gained through testing will help the team as they prepare the core stage for Space Launch System (SLS) launch of the Artemis I mission to the Moon.

The core stage is flight hardware that will be used for the Artemis I mission. For updates, please check this blog or the Green Run web site: https://www.nasa.gov/artemisprogram/greenrun

Green Run Update: SLS Team Prepares Core Stage for Second Hot Fire Test

The core stage Green Run test team has completed refurbishment activities and is preparing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage and its four RS-25 engines for a second hot fire test.

After the first SLS core stage hot fire test on Jan. 16 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, the team put the stand and core stage in a configuration so that the stage and stand could be refurbished. This involved installing platforms on the test stand so that technicians could inspect, access, and perform procedures on the hardware.

The team has now completed this refurbishment work and conducted a review referred to as “the break of configuration review” to transition the core stage hardware to the test configuration for the second hot fire test. During refurbishment, the team thoroughly inspected the stage, dried the four RS-25 engines, and made minor repairs to the engines and thermal protection system.

The team is also modifying and testing the Green Run software for the flight computers based on data from the first hot fire. The team adjusted parameters used by the software logic, which operating on the flight computers automatically monitors a variety of parameters and controls the test during the terminal countdown and after engine ignition. The updated Green Run software was tested in the systems integration test facility at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, which has avionics and flight computers identical to the ones in the core stage.

Now, the team is preparing the core stage, the B-2 Test Stand, and the Stennis Test Control Centers for the upcoming hot fire test targeted for the week of Feb. 21. A target date for the test will be announced next week. The core stage is flight hardware that will be used for the Artemis I mission.

This video, the Brains of NASA’s SLS Rocket explains how the SLS avionics system and flight software will work to control the rocket on the Artemis missions. The Green Run test is providing valuable data on how the Green Run test software, which is like the flight software, works with the core stage flight computers to control the rocket.

For updates, please check this blog or the Green Run web site: https://www.nasa.gov/artemisprogram/greenrun

Green Run Update: Engines Igniting as Hot Fire Gets Underway 

The hot fire is underway for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket core stage at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

Engine ignition began at approximately six tenths of a second before T-0, beginning with Engine 1, then Engines 3, 4, and 2 ignited in sequence a few hundredths of a second apart. The test is expected to last about 8 minutes and will include three different power levels for the engines, as well as two 30-second engine gimballing, or pivoting, movements to simulate flight steering commands. Depending on the rate propellant is burned the time is estimated to range from 485 to 493 seconds to simulate launch.

Learn more about Green Run, and check back at this blog for updates on the SLS core stage hot fire test.

Green Run Update: Hot Fire Test Targeted for within an Hour

The teams are now targeting a hot fire test for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket core stage within an hour. The team has completed a successful pressurization demonstration and is evaluating the data to ensure they are ready to proceed.

Live coverage is underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Teams began the countdown for the hot fire test earlier today. This is the eighth and final test in the Green Run testing series for the rocket’s core stage that will launch NASA’s Artemis I mission around the Moon. Learn more about Green Run, and check back at this blog for updates on the SLS core stage hot fire test.

Green Run Update: NASA TV Coverage Underway for Hot Fire Test 

Countdown is continuing for the hot fire test of the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The test is targeted for as early as 4 p.m. EST and is expected to last about 8 minutes to simulate launch and ascent of the SLS to orbit.

NASA Television coverage has begun. Watch live: http://www.nasa.gov/live

Teams powered up the core stage’s avionics systems Thursday, Jan. 14, and began the countdown for the hot fire test earlier today. The team is continuing to closely monitor core stage and facility performance before proceeding into the final phase of the test: the terminal countdown leading to the hot fire.

During this test, the team has repeated many of the major milestones marked during the first wet dress rehearsal including chilling the main propulsion system and completely filling both propellant tanks. Coming up at 10 minutes before the test, the test conductor will poll the team who will give the final “go/no go” to proceed with the hot fire test.

Learn more about Green Run, and check back at this blog for updates on the SLS core stage hot fire test.

Green Run Update: Teams Running Ahead of Schedule, NASA TV begins at 3:20 p.m. EST

Teams are progressing through the countdown and running approximately an hour ahead of schedule. The test is targeted for as early as 4 p.m. EST. Live coverage will begin earlier at 3:20 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Learn more about Green Run, and check back at this blog for updates on the SLS core stage hot fire test.

Green Run Update: Tanking Complete for Hot Fire Test

Engineers have completed tanking for the hot fire test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket core stage at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, and the countdown is proceeding normally.

The liquid hydrogen tank holds 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen, cooled to minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid oxygen tank holds 196,000 gallons of liquid oxygen, cooled to minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit. The cryogenic fuel and oxidizer in the tanks will be replenished, or “topped off,” as needed, because some of the fuel boils off due to temperature fluctuations as the propellant is loaded. The tanks were filled during an earlier wet dress rehearsal on Dec. 20. Today is only the second time that they have been completely loaded with propellant.

Learn more about Green Run, and check back at this blog for updates on the SLS core stage hot fire test.

This infographic explains more about the Green Run tests that have already occurred before this final hot fire test.This infographic explains more about the Green Run tests that have already occurred before this final hot fire test.

Green Run Update: Test Team Gives “Go” To Proceed with Tanking

The test team conducted a pre-test briefing in the Test Control Center at the B test complex at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and gave a “go” to proceed with testing and to fill the propellant tanks.

Over the next several hours, the teams will monitor the systems and load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or supercooled, liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen that will be fed to the four RS-25 engines.

The hot fire will last up to 8 minutes and is scheduled to take place during a two-hour window that begins at 5 p.m. EST. Live coverage will begin at 4:20 p.m. EST on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Learn more about Green Run, and check back at this blog for updates on the SLS core stage hot fire test.

SLS core stageThis infographic provides information on the core stage including its two large propellant tanks.