Press Release

NASA to Discuss Plans Today for Artemis Moon Mission Modified Test

By SpaceRef Editor
April 11, 2022
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NASA will hold a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT today, Monday, April 11, to provide an update on the final major test of the agency’s mega Moon rocket and spacecraft on the launch pad at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the uncrewed Artemis I lunar mission. 

The teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.

NASA is planning to proceed with a modified wet dress rehearsal test focused on using the ground systems at Kennedy to load propellant into the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage tanks, with minimal propellant operations on the upper stage. In addition to loading propellant, the wet dress rehearsal is an opportunity to refine countdown procedures and validate critical models and software interfaces. The team achieved many of the wet dress rehearsal objectives during the two prior tests, and the modified test will enable engineers to achieve the remaining test objectives critical to launch success.  

Teleconference participants include: 

  • Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for common exploration systems development, NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director, NASA Exploration Ground Systems program, Kennedy 
  • John Blevins, SLS chief engineer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, NASA Headquarters 

To participate by telephone, media must RSVP to NASA no later than one hour prior to the start of the event to: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov

Following the previous test run, engineers identified an issue with a helium check valve that was not functioning as expected, requiring changes to the test to ensure safety of the flight hardware. Due to the time needed to adjust loading procedures, testing is scheduled to resume with call to stations on Tuesday, April 12 and tanking on Thursday, April 14.

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 to send astronauts to Mars. 

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

https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/ 

SpaceRef staff editor.