NASA tests the Artemis 1 refueling rocket, filled with 3.3 million liters of liquid hydrogen

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NASA will conduct refueling tests on its Artemis 1 Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at Launch Pad 39B, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The team is working to replace the seal at the interface, called quick disconnect, between hydrogen fuels

FLORIDA NASA perform a rocket refueling test Artemis 1 Space Launch System (SLS) September 21, 2022. This test will verify the repair of fuel leaks and a better and smoother refueling process.

Hopefully, NASA will make a third attempt to launch the Artemis 1 SLS rocket to the moon on September 27, 2022. Previously, NASA canceled 2 attempts to launch the Artemis 1 rocket due to a fuel leak.

The refueling test, which will be conducted by NASA, will test the repair of two hydrogen leaks on the rocket. Additionally, I tested a new, slower way to power a 32-story booster on PAD 389A from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Not only are we preparing for the launch on September 27, but we are preparing for the future of this vehicle. That’s why we’re taking the time and effort to make sure we understand this, ”said Tom Whitmeyer, deputy chief executive of NASA’s associate administrator.

Read also; Leaked rocket seal replacement completed, Artemis 1 ready for refueling test

NASA’s Artemis 1 refueling tests came after two failed attempts to launch Mission Artemis 1 on August 29 and September 3. The first failure was due to an engine temperature problem due to a faulty sensor, the second to a large hydrogen leak.

NASA immediately made improvements to the 20 centimeter (Cm) hydrogen line and the smaller 10 cm line. The 20cm line is of particular concern due to its large loss during the test launch on September 3.

The engineers replaced the soft seals on both lines and even found small indentations in the seals of the larger lines that may or may not have been caused by a piece of debris (although no debris was found on the launch pad). “The tiny divot is just under 0.01 inches (0.002 cm),” NASA said.

To make things easier on the SLS fuel line, NASA will be testing what it calls an improved and gentler liquid hydrogen loading process during testing this week. The process will feed the rocket about 30 minutes slower than normal to reduce the pressure on the pressurized fuel lines and seals.

Read also; The planned launch of Artemis 1 is again postponed, no later than September 27, 2022

It usually takes up to four hours to refuel the rocket. “Now, it doesn’t seem like much, but we’re dealing with hydrogen, the smallest particle on the atomic paper, and there really is an opportunity for pressurized gas to escape,” Mike Sarafin, head of NASA’s Artemis 1 mission .

NASA also automates all systems except the five manual controls for the refueling process. Subsequently, training was added for the launch team to avoid accidental overpressure of fuel lines such as in an accident on September 3.

During the Artemis 1 refueling test, NASA will fill the rocket’s core and upper stage with the 736,000 gallons or 3.3 million liters of supercooled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen required for launch. This is not a complete exercise to launch, but is designed to check for fuel leak repairs and new refueling process work.

(Spider web)

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