NASA has finally completed an essential fuel test on its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, bringing it one step closer to moving forward with the moon-bound Artemis I launch.
The space agency initially pursued a second attempt at launching the uncrewed SLS but was confronted with hydrogen leaks traced back to overpressurization in the rocket’s booster tank. Although engineers tried to fix the problem three times on the day of the planned launch, they were ultimately unsuccessful and postponed takeoff.
Following the failed launch, the team replaced one of the rocket’s damaged liquid hydrogen seals and amended the process for filling its tank with propellants, slowing down the change in temperature and pressure in order to prevent potential leakage.
On Wednesday, engineers reconvened for another fuel test, where they once again spotted a fuel leak. With the latest test, however, the team was able to stop the flow of hydrogen and plug the leak.
“The test went really well,” Artemis I Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said. “We wanted to learn, to evaluate. All of the objectives that we set out to do, we were able to accomplish. I am extremely encouraged by the test today.”
Following the test, NASA is evaluating data to determine whether the rocket will be ready for launch on Tuesday, September 27.
In other tech news, a fix for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max’s “shaky” cameras is on the way.
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