NASA crews conduct night operations for Artemis I wet dress rehearsal

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft on board is seen atop a moving launch vehicle at Launch Complex 39B illuminated by floodlights, Saturday, April 2, 2022, as the launch team Artemis I performs the wet dress rehearsal test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Prior to NASA’s Artemis I flight test, the wet dress rehearsal will allow the Artemis I launch team to perform propellant loading operations, perform a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to Recycle the countdown clock and empty the tanks to practice timings and launch procedures. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Engineers confirmed that there were four lightning strikes on the lightning towers within the perimeter of Launch Pad 39B. The teams have determined that the first three strikes were low intensity in tower two and are continuing to review data from the fourth strike, which was more intense in tower one. At the time of the strikes, Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) the core stage was powered up and the solid rocket boosters and the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) were not. Teams currently see no constraints to continue with the testing countdown schedule as planned and will continue procedures to power the SLS boosters and ICPS overnight.

Artemis I at Launch Pad 39B

Standing atop the mobile launch vehicle, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft can be seen at Launch Pad 39B at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2022. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

During the night, engineers will also work to make up time for activities that have been interrupted due to bad weather. The mission management team will review the timing and data from the power-ups and pad sensors during a tanking meeting at 6 a.m. EDT before making the decision to proceed with the test.

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