NASA has delayed a critical test of its next generation . On Sunday, the agency had planned to fuel the rocket in a “wetsuit rehearsal” designed to replicate the launch countdown process for its next Later this year. Shortly after 12 p.m. ET, NASA announced it was cleaning up the test due to an issue with the rocket’s mobile launch pad.
Before NASA personnel began loading the spacecraft with 700,000 gallons of liquid propellant, the agency discovered that a system on the launch vehicle vital to the rocket’s safety had failed after losing the ability to pressurize. the platform. “The fans are needed to provide positive pressure to enclosed areas of the mobile launcher and keep hazardous gases out,” NASA said. noted. “Technicians are not able to safely proceed with loading propellants into the rocket’s core stage and intermediate cryogenic propulsion stage without this capability.”
NASA could attempt the test again as early as April 4, though that depends on a handful of factors, including fuel availability. The agency said it would hold a press conference later today to discuss its plan. A successful test would mark an important milestone for NASA. He spent a decade and more than $23 billion developing the Space Launch System, and the rocket is the centerpiece of many NASA plans for the Moon and beyond.