After two failed attempts to launch its new rocket, NASA is preparing for a third attempt on September 27 to test the Space Launch System . As part of launch preparations, this time NASA will conduct a separate cryogenic demonstration test a few days before launch to check if the final fixes are working. This test will be broadcast live by NASA this week, and we’ve gathered all the information you need to know about the test and how to watch it below.
While the Space Launch System rocket is still on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on-site corrections have been made and testing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21.
What Do We Expect From the Test?
Two previous attempts to launch the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft on the uncrewed Artemis I mission around the moon were canceled due to problems with hydrogen leaks. The rocket uses a mixture of both liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as fuel, but placing liquid hydrogen in the rocket’s core stage has caused problems twice.
There was a minor leak of liquid hydrogen during the first launch attempt, but the launch was aborted due to problems with the engines. A more serious leak occurred during the second attempt, and several attempts to fix it were unsuccessful.
Since then, NASA engineers have completed repair work on hardware affected by the leak. To avoid another leaking issue, the tanking test will ensure the rocket’s tanks are full of fuel to test if everything is going smoothly before the actual launch.