NASA’s Testing for Megarocket Artemis 1 Begins

A prelaunch test dubbed as a “wet dress rehearsal” for NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission commenced at LaunchPad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

The three-day test will put the Artemis 1 stack, a Space Launch System megarocket atop an Orion crew capsule through a number of pre-launch procedures to check that all of its systems are working properly.

The “wet dress rehearsal” officially began with a “call to stations.”

Charlie Blackwell-Thompson of KSC, the Artemis launch director for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems program, said that the call to stations “is a big milestone” because “it is the time when we are calling our teams, notifying them that the wet dress rehearsal test is officially underway.”

Artemis 1 crew members will check off a number of boxes over the next 24 hours after the call, from filling the water tanks of the launch pad’s sound suppression system to powering up Orion and the SLS core stage.

The outcomes of the wet dress rehearsal will help NASA prepare for Artemis 1, which will fly an uncrewed Orion on a month-long voyage around the moon. 

Artemis 1 is expected to launch in June at the earliest, although the crew has yet to specify a target date.

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