NASA conducts Artemis I fuel test ahead of next launch

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Updates: NASA completed this test and met all of its test objectives on Wednesday afternoon. Engineers will be reviewing data and procedures going forward, so the next launch attempt is still tentatively scheduled for 11:37 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 27. Read our full post-Test story here.


Follow live as NASA targets Wednesday, Sept. 21 for the Space Launch System rocket fueling test at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The test, which will load liquid oxygen and hydrogen into the main stage of the 322-foot rocket, is necessary before proceeding with the next attempt to launch the Artemis I mission to the Moon. The last two attempts at the end of August and earlier this month were scrubbed due to hardware problems.

NASA expects this test to last until noon

If all goes according to plan, today’s test will fully load fuel and pave the way for a launch during a 70-minute window, which opens at 11:37 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Teams expect to have a full loading test by this afternoon.

Follow the live updates below (manual refresh required; for more frequent, real-time updates, follow this link,

SLS is now fully refueled

NASA's SLS rocket is seen fully refueling during a loading test at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

3:45 PM EDT: The SLS is now fully refueled. A hydrogen leak is still being detected, but it is a major milestone. Teams clearly have some more work to do to detect leaks.

This completes Wednesday’s fuel test. Although there were some rocky moments and hydrogen is still leaking out, engineers have probably obtained invaluable data.

NASA ‘Go’ for Final Phase of Testing

3:35 PM EDT: The Artemis launch director has given a “go” to proceed with pre-flight pressurization of the propellant tanks at Pad 39B. This would simulate the level to which the rocket’s tanks need to reach just before liftoff – a critical milestone that was not reached during the previous two launch attempts.

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