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Artemis I returning to the launch pad for wet dress rehearsal

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WHNT) – Repairs are almost complete on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will be used for NASA’s first Artemis mission and a new test date has been set.

The Artemis I rocket was moved from Launch Pad 39B back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on April 25 after three failed wet dress rehearsal tests designed to put the rocket through a mock launch, without actually launching the rocket.

The problems discovered during those attempts have since been fixed and the SLS is ready to head back out to the launch pad. The new wet dress rehearsal test is set to start with rolling the rocket from the VAB to the launch pad starting at midnight on June 6.

An upper stage helium check valve was tested and replaced and a small bit of rubber debris was discovered to be the cause of the problem. Crews also fixed a small leak within the tail service mast umbilical ground plate housing on the Mobile Launcher. The software involved with fueling the core stage was also updated.

Upgrades were also finished at the facility that provides gaseous nitrogen for all of the launch operations at the Kennedy Space Flight Center.

While the SLS was in the VAB, crews also moved ahead with work that was originally scheduled to be completed after wet dress rehearsal. Some of the forward work included opening the Orion crew module hatch to install some of the payloads for the Artemis I mission and replacing some ground systems panels with flight panels.

After the rocket completes the 4.2-mile journey to the launch pad it will take about two weeks to prepare the rocket and ground launch systems for the wet dress rehearsal. The test is set to start on June 19.

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