The dangers of hydrogen – and importance of robust and swift leak detection – have been underlined by the aborted launch of Artemis 1 for a second time on Saturday.
According to Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s Artemis launch director, teams encountered a liquid hydrogen leak while loading the propellant into the rocket’s core stage, and multiple troubleshooting efforts to address the area of the leak by reseating a seal in the quick disconnect where liquid hydrogen is fed into the rocket did not fix the issue.
A Nasa statement reads, “A liquid hydrogen leak has reoccurred again in a cavity between the ground and flight side plates of a quick disconnect in the engine section.”
While it can’t be said definitively what caused the leak, attention is focusing on inadvertent over-pressurisation of the hydrogen line early morning, and incorrect commands to the wrong valve, according to reports.
... to continue reading you must be subscribed