Two Fueling Problems Further Delay Artemis Moon Rocket Rehearsal

© AP Photo / John RaouxThe NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard stands on pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, March 18, 2022. NASA is kicking off a critical countdown test for its new moon rocket. The two-day dress rehearsal began Friday, April 1, 2022 at Florida's Kennedy Space Center and will culminate Sunday with the loading of the rocket's fuel tanks.
The NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard stands on pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, March 18, 2022. NASA is kicking off a critical countdown test for its new moon rocket. The two-day dress rehearsal began Friday, April 1, 2022 at Florida's Kennedy Space Center and will culminate Sunday with the loading of the rocket's fuel tanks. - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.04.2022
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Artemis program to put Americans back on the Moon for the first time since 1972 suffered two more delays in wet dress rehearsal problems on Sunday and Monday, and the procedure will now be further deferred until after the manned Axiom mission to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA officials said.
"We were able to load LOX (liquid oxygen) into the core stage for the very first time: We got about half way with the LH2 (liquid hydrogen) pneumatic pressure at the pad," NASA Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson told a press conference on Tuesday. "We decided we would need to send a team into the pad [so] we stopped our cryogenic loading operations yesterday."
NASA launch managers tried on Sunday and on Monday to load nearly 1 million gallons of fuel into the 322-foot-tall Space Launch System in the wet dress rehearsal planned to be the last full checkout before the Artemis 1 is fired for its first test flight. On Sunday, faulty fans stopped the test and a jammed valve halted it a second time on Monday.
"We are remaining at the pad in preparation for our next wet dress rehearsal attempt. ... They had a vaporizer leak that froze up," Blackwell-Thompson said.
The NASA officials refused to give any firm date as to when the delayed Artemis 1 flight would now take place. But they said it would have to wait until after the  next manned Axiom mission to the ISS.
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