MADRID, 22 (EUROPE PRESS)
In a statement, the agency said all targets for the cryogenic demonstration test, conducted Sept. 21, were met and teams are now proceeding with critical safety activities and preparations to drain the rocket’s tanks. “Once engineers found a hydrogen leak early in the charging process, they were able to fix the problem and proceed with planned activities,” the space agency concludes.
The four main objectives of the demonstration included evaluating the repair to address the hydrogen leak identified during the previous launch attempt, loading propellants into the rocket’s tanks using new methods, performing the launch purge, and conducting a pre-pressurization test. New cryogenic loading methods and ground automation were developed to slowly change temperatures and pressures during refueling to reduce the likelihood of leaks that could be caused by rapid changes in temperature or pressure.
After finding the leak early in service, crews further reduced boost pressure to correct the problem and proceed with demo testing. The pre-pressure test allowed engineers to calibrate the settings used to condition the engines during the terminal countdown and to validate the schedules before launch day to reduce schedule risk during the launch day countdown.
The teams will evaluate the test data along with weather and other factors before confirming they are ready to proceed with the next launch opportunity for the Artemis I mission, scheduled for September 27, with a second option on September 2. October. The rocket remains in a safe configuration on the launch tower while the teams evaluate next steps.