Press Release

NASA to Discuss Final Test Status Today Before Artemis Moon Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
April 5, 2022
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NASA will hold a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT today on Tuesday, April 5, to provide another update on the final major test with the agency’s mega Moon rocket and Orion spacecraft at the launch pad ahead of the uncrewed Artemis I lunar mission. Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.

During the approximate two-day test known as a wet dress rehearsal, NASA encountered an issue Monday, April 4, with a panel on the mobile launcher that controls the core stage vent valve. The purpose of the valve is to relieve pressure from the rocket’s core stage during tanking. NASA’s launch director made the call to stop the test given the time to resolve the issue as teams were nearing the end of their shifts.

At the time the test ended, the team had loaded about 50% of the liquid oxygen into the Space Launch System rocket core stage. Teams are reviewing range availability and the time needed to turn systems around before determining another attempt to conduct the wet dress rehearsal.

Teleconference participants include: 

  • Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for Common Exploration Systems Development, NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, NASA Headquarters 
  • Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director, Exploration Ground Systems Program, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida

To participate by telephone, media must RSVP to NASA no later than one hour prior to the start of the event to:

The test is designed to demonstrate the ability to conduct a full launch countdown at Kennedy’ Launch Pad 39B, including loading and draining cryogenic, or supercold, propellants into the Artemis I rocket. The dress rehearsal initially began April 1 and was previously stopped Sunday, April 3, to troubleshoot issues with two fans required to help pressurize the mobile launcher ahead of cryogenic propellant loading operations, and resumed a day later.

Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone on the way to Mars. 

For updates, follow along on NASA’s Artemis blog at: 

SpaceRef staff editor.