World's most powerful rocket SLS to return to launchpad for wet dress rehearsal, says NASA
NASA's Moon-bound Space Launch System (SLS), the world's most powerful rocket ever built, and the Orion spacecraft will head to the agency's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39B in Florida early next month for the wet dress rehearsal test.
The wet dress rehearsal is the last major test before the launch of NASA's Artemis I Mission, which allows the team to practice propellant loading and thoroughly check out the rocket systems as they are exposed to cryogenics.
Ahead of the test, engineers have completed work on a number of items observed during the previous wet dress rehearsal test, including addressing the liquid hydrogen system leak at the tail service mast umbilical, replacing the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) gaseous helium system check valve and support hardware, and confirming there are no impacts to Orion as a result of storms and subsequent water intrusion at the launch pad, among others.
In preparation for the next wet dress rehearsal, teams at @NASAKennedy have completed work on a number of items. Following completion of a few remaining verifications, teams will prepare SLS and @NASA_Orion to roll out to pad 39B in early June.MORE >> https://t.co/DQ7I5pCzQK pic.twitter.com/zA7DRXKzHG— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) May 22, 2022
The uncrewed Artemis I mission will be the first flight of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft together. According to NASA, SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.
During the Artemis I mission, the spacecraft will venture thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of about a four to six-week mission. In future missions, the spacecraft will carry astronauts from Earth to lunar orbit and back.
With Artemis missions, NASA plans to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon and use the learning to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.