A new dress rehearsal for the launch of the SLS lunar rocket will take place in June. Engineers have already figured out what prevented it from refueling last time. The launch is possible in August.
New SLS Launch Rehearsal
NASA will once again roll out the Space Launch System (SLS) lunar rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for what they call a “wet dress rehearsal.” This will happen in June. The engineers hope that this time they will be able to carry out all the necessary preparations, which will be carried out during a real launch and achieve 10-second readiness.
The rocket, along with its vehicle and the Orion spacecraft at the top, is the size of a small skyscraper. Therefore, each of its transportation from the VAB to the launch pad 39B is a whole event, despite the fact the distance between these two points is only a few kilometers.
The last time this happened was on April 25. Then the giant rocket was delivered back to the VAB after a month spent on the launch pad. It passed some tests then, but three attempts to refuel it failed.
Will it be possible to refuel the SLS this time?
NASA engineers are confident that this time it will be possible to refuel the SLS. On May 5, in a conversation with journalists, they said that they found a faulty valve, disassembled it and realized that it did not allow it to be completely sealed. They were pieces of rubber stuck inside.
However, they were not part of this valve. Where they came from, experts are still figuring out. It also became clear what caused the helium to leak during the last rehearsal. According to the engineers, it was caused by several relaxed bolts.
The engineering team promises that new tests will be held in the first half of June. And this puts it in a fairly tight time frame. Between how the rocket will be on the launch pad and when the SLS launch rehearsal begins, 12-14 days of painstaking work should pass. This means that preparations for a new departure will begin at the end of May.
In any case, the launch date will be known only after all the tests have been successfully carried out. Engineers hope that it will take place in August this year.
According to www.space.com
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