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NASA to Provide Update Today on Last Major Test Before Artemis Launch

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2022 -- NASA will hold a media teleconference at 5:30 p.m. EDT today, Sunday, April 3, to discuss the status of the final major test with the agency's mega Moon rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad ahead of the uncrewed Artemis I lunar mission. 

The approximately two-day test, known as the wet dress rehearsal, began Friday, April 1, and was halted Sunday prior to tanking due to loss of ability to pressurize the mobile launcher using two fans. The fans are needed to provide positive pressure to the enclosed areas within the mobile launcher and keep out hazardous gases. Without this capability, technicians are unable to safely proceed with remotely loading the propellants into the rocket's core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage.

The test is designed to demonstrate the ability to conduct a full launch countdown at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B, including loading and draining cryogenic, or supercold, propellants into the Artemis I rocket.  

Teleconference participants include: 

  • Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, NASA Headquarters
  • Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director, NASA Exploration Ground Systems program, Kennedy

To participate by telephone, media must RSVP to NASA no later than one hour prior to the start of the event to: [email protected]

Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone on the way to Mars. 

For updates, follow along on NASA's Artemis blog at: