NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, March 29, at 1 p.m. EDT, to discuss the upcoming final major test of the agency’s Mega Moon rocket and spacecraft at the launchpad ahead of the uncrewed Artemis I lunar mission.
The wet dress rehearsal will take place on LaunchPad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from Friday, April 1 to Sunday, April 3.
Moreover, engineers will demonstrate their ability to conduct a full launch countdown at the pad, including loading and draining cryogenic, or supercold, propellants into the Artemis I rocket, during the test.
Participants in the teleconference include:
1. Tom Whitmeyer, NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, deputy associate administrator for common exploration systems development.
2. Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA Exploration Ground Systems programme, NASA Kennedy Space Center
3. John Honeycutt, manager of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is in charge of the Space Launch System programme.
4. Howard Hu, Orion programme manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
5. Mike Sarafin, NASA Headquarters’ Artemis mission manager.
To participate by phone, the media must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than two hours before the event begins.
Beginning at 12 p.m. Friday, April 1, the agency will provide live video of the rocket on the pad, without audio or commentary, on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel for the duration of the test.
Artemis’ blog and social accounts will be updated in real-time with operational updates. There will be no in-person media activities for the wet dress rehearsal.
The agency will also hold a post-test media teleconference with the above-mentioned participants on April 4 at 11 a.m.
NASA’s Artemis missions will land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone to Mars.
NASA gave the “go” to proceed with the Artemis I wet dress rehearsal scheduled for April 1-3 during a pre-test review on March 28. The Artemis I launch team will go through operations to load propellant into the rocket’s tanks, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and drain the tanks to practise the timelines and procedures they will use for launch.
Beginning at Noon EDT on April 1, NASA will provide a live video stream of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.
The arrival of Artemis I at LaunchPad
After a nearly 11-hour journey from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion Spacecraft for the Artemis I mission arrived atop Launch Complex 39B around 4:15 a.m. ET on March 18.
Following the arrival of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for Artemis I on March 18 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, teams have connected numerous ground support equipment elements, including electrical, fuel environmental control system ducts, and cryogenic propellant lines, to the rocket and spacecraft.
On March 21, teams successfully powered up all elements of the integrated system at the pad for the first time in preparation for the wet dress rehearsal test, which is scheduled for April 1-3.
With the rocket and spacecraft now configured at the pad, engineering testing is underway to ensure that systems continue to operate as planned.
In addition, technicians will put on self-contained atmospheric protective ensemble suits, or SCAPE suits, to practise operations in the event of an emergency at the launch pad during fueling and launch.
The two-day wet dress rehearsal test will show the team’s ability to load cryogenic, or super-cold, propellants into the rocket, conduct a launch countdown, and practise safely removing propellants from the launch pad. Engineers will return the rocket and spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building for final checks before launch after a wet dress rehearsal.