Live Coverage: NASA Space Launch System Wet Dress Rehearsal

“…allow it to burn out.”


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That “it’s” is not a typo, it’s a specialized NASA term. The paper defining it will be forthcoming, once the specification is complete. /sarc


From the NASA Artemis blog, “Artemis I WDR Update: Test Ends at 7:37 p.m. EDT at T-29 Seconds”:

The Artemis I wet dress rehearsal ended today at 7:37 p.m. EDT at T-29 seconds in the countdown. Today’s test marked the first time the team fully loaded all the Space Launch System rocket’s propellant tanks and proceeded into the terminal launch countdown, when many critical activities occur in rapid succession.

During propellant loading operations earlier in the day, launch controllers encountered a hydrogen leak in the quick disconnect that attaches an umbilical from the tail service mast on the mobile launcher to the rocket’s core stage. The team attempted to fix the leak by warming the quick disconnect and then chilling it back down to realign a seal, but their efforts did not fix the issue.

Launch controllers then developed a plan to mask data associated with the leak that would trigger a hold by the ground launch sequencer, or launch computer, in a real launch day scenario, to allow them to get as far into the countdown as possible. The time required to develop the plan required extended hold time during the countdown activities, but they were able to resume with the final 10 minutes of the countdown, called terminal count. During the terminal count, the teams performed several critical operations that must be accomplished for launch including switching control from the ground launch sequencer to the automated launch sequencer controlled by the rocket’s flight software, and important step that the team wanted to accomplish.

Jeff Foust of SpaceNews has a more acerbic take:


Here is the NASA media teleconference discussing the wet dress rehearsal attempt held yesterday, 2022-06-20.

There was no definitive statement as to whether an additional rehearsal test will be required before proceeding to a launch attempt. In either case, the rocket will need to be rolled back to the VAB for installation of flight termination hardware and other flight pyrotechnics before launch.


This is so sad to see.

What happened to the NASA of yore where chain smoking men with pocket protectors in their white shirts would do what now look like impossible feats using slide rules and all the processing power of a modern Casio G-Shock watch…


I got tricked!! John, your click bait headlines got me. I saw “wet dress” and clicked. This is NOT what I was expecting.


NASA will hold a media teleconference on 2022-06-24 at 15:00 UTC to discuss the results of the wet dress rehearsal propellant loading test and plans to proceed to a launch attempt in late August, “NASA to Discuss Status of Artemis I Moon Mission”:

Teams conducted a wet dress rehearsal Monday, June 20, to validate the timelines and procedures for launch, including loading propellant into the rocket’s tanks, performing the launch countdown through the handover to the automated launch sequencer, and draining the tanks.

NASA has reviewed the data from the rehearsal and determined the testing campaign is complete. The agency will roll SLS and Orion back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy next week to prepare the rocket and spacecraft for launch and repair a leak detected during the most recent rehearsal. NASA plans to return SLS and Orion to the pad for launch in late August. NASA will set a specific target launch date after replacing hardware associated with the leak.


Two months to replace some leaking hardware? I guess it takes a while for that order to get shipped from China.


Were you thinking “wet t-shirt”? In the end, it turned out to be a “brown pants” type of situation. Saddened by what appears to be a consistent stream of program management incompetence.


As a former Navy man, I have had many a “wet t-shirt” events ruined because of “program management incompetence.”


NASA has produced a five minute PR hype video, “We Are Capable”, about the forthcoming unmanned Artemis I flight to the Moon.

The first successful unmanned mission to orbit the Moon was the Soviet Luna 10 probe, which entered lunar orbit on 1966-04-03. It did not, however, have its own special text font with the bottom of the characters cut off or a promotional video featuring the vibrant diversity of the “Luna Generation”.


Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

When they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down.
                  — English children’s nursery rhyme

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Baffling them with BS only really works when the “them” are just as incompetent as the “baffler”.

If you are so good, you don’t really need an advertisement to let others know. Today’s NASA is an example. They have been living off the accomplishments of people that occurred over a half century ago.


The old and the new: NASA SLS rolls back to the hangar with the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch pad and under-construction Starship orbital launch tower in the background.


On 2022-07-20, NASA held an Artemis I media teleconference discussing plans for proceeding to launch. Possible launch dates mentioned were 2022-08-29, 2022-09-02, and 2022-09-05.

This is an audio-only recording of the call.

Today, 2022-07-21, NASA and Northrop Grumman conducted the SLS Flight Support Booster-2 Test, static firing a five segment SLS solid rocket booster with updated components intended to be used on future flight vehicles. The static firing was at Northrop Grumman’s facility at Promontory, Utah.


On 2022-07-03, NASA held a one hour “Artemis I Big Picture Briefing” previewing the flight. Participants include NASA administrator Bill Nelson, the Artemis I mission manager, launch director, SLS program manager, and Orion program manager.