The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage for the Artermis I lunar mission has successfully completed its seventh Green Run test.
NASA on Monday (10th Dec) powered up the core stage avionics and loaded propellant for the first time.
To complete this wet dress rehearsal exercise, engineers loaded more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or supercooled, propellent, which were transferred from facility barge systems to the core stage.
The wet dress rehearsal is the seventh of eight Green Run tests being performed on the Artemis I core stage, built by Boeing, and the four RS-25 engines, manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
For this test, the team focused on the core stage’s first exposure to cryogenic propellants.
Six barges filled with liquid hydrogen and oxygen supplied the propellant to the B-2 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi where the Green Run tests are taking place.
Engineers monitored the core stage’s giant propellant tanks and complex propulsion systems for potential leaks or other issues that stages have historically experienced the first time cryogenic propellants are loaded.
To prepare for Artemis launches, engineers also put the stage through scenarios it might experience on the pad before lift-off.
They conducted two different holds in the countdown timeline while the stage was in a launch-ready state.
This provided an opportunity to observe how the stage would respond if the countdown was paused during the upcoming hot fire test or a future Artemis launch.
Operations are continuing, and the team will refine the procedures and resume the wet dress rehearsal test in the coming days.
NASA said the core stage performed well, and there are no issues with the stage, the B-2 test stand, or other facilities at Stennis.