NASA fuels moon rocket for 1st time in countdown rehearsal
Share this

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA fueled its huge moon rocket for the first time Monday and went ahead with a critical countdown test despite a fuel line leak.

This was NASA’s fourth crack at the all-important dress rehearsal, the last major milestone before the moon rocket’s long-awaited launch debut.

The previous attempts in April were thwarted by a fuel leak, as well as stuck valves and other technical issues.

Another leak — this time in an external fuel line — almost curtailed Monday’s test at Kennedy Space Center. But NASA managers decided to do the countdown test anyway.

Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said they pushed ahead to see “how the team performed, how the hardware performed, and they both performed very well.”

Engineers wanted to get all the way down to the 9-second mark — just short of engine firing — to validate all the systems and procedures. But it cut off at 29 seconds. NASA spokesman Derrol Nail said it wasn’t immediately known why the countdown stopped.

Earlier, nearly 1 million gallons of super-cold liquid hydrogen and oxygen were loaded into the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket known as the Space Launch System, or SLS.

The testing delays have pushed the actual launch — with an empty Orion capsule flying around the moon and back — to the end of August at the earliest. This test flight is crucial before astronauts climb aboard.

Blackwell-Thompson said it was too early to say what NASA’s next step might be.

The second SLS flight, planned for 2024, would send a crew around the moon and back. The third mission — no earlier than 2025 — would have astronauts actually landing on the moon.

Astronauts last walked on the moon in 1972 during NASA’s Apollo program. The new program is named Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister in Greek mythology.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Share this
You May Also Like

Mar-a-Lago Raid, January 6 Probe ‘Could Potentially Overlap’

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said Wednesday on CNN’s “OutFront” that the FBI…

Inflation Reduction Act passes House, heads to Biden

() — The House passed the Democrats’ $700 billion energy and tax…

Disposable BARBECUE sparked massive blaze near Dorset nudist beach

A massive fire that ripped through a nature reserve near a Dorset…

Social media model arrested in Hawaii on murder charge

HILO, Hawaii – Law enforcement in Hawaii on Wednesday arrested social media…

What is a serial killer?

() ⁠— The recent killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque sent…

Take 3 home tests if exposed to COVID to boost accuracy

WASHINGTON – If you were exposed to COVID-19, take three home tests…

Woman she wasn’t told about incident at St. Augustine daycare

She says her daughter attended Kingdom Kids Academy for about a year…

Numerous classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago

(NewsNation) — FBI agents found dozens of classified documents during their search…