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NASA sets Artemis I launch for Sept. 23

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA is preserving options for the next launch opportunity for Artemis I as early as Sept. 23, the space agency announced. 

There are two launch windows – Sept 23: Two-hour launch window opens at 6:47 a.m. EDT with the landing Oct. 18; and Sept. 27: 70-minute launch window opens at 11:37 a.m. and landing is Nov. 5.

Technicians work Thursday to replace the seal on an interface, called the quick disconnect, between the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line on the mobile launcher and the SLS rocket. (NASA Photo/Chad Siwik)

NASA said it is also preparing to support additional dates in the event flexibility is required.

Engineers are making progress repairing the area where a liquid hydrogen leak was detected during last Saturday’s launch attempt, the space agency said.

Technicians constructed a tent-like enclosure around the work area to protect the hardware and teams from weather and other environmental conditions at Launch Pad 39B.

They have disconnected the ground- and rocket-side plates on the interface, called a quick disconnect, for the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line, performed initial inspections, and began replacing two seals.

The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft are in good condition while remaining at the launch pad, NASA said. 

Once the work is complete, engineers will reconnect the plates and perform initial tests to evaluate the new seals. They will check the new seals under supercold conditions no earlier than Sept. 17.

On that day, the rocket’s core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to validate the repair under launch day conditions. Engineers are developing a full plan for the checkouts. 

In the meantime, the Artemis team is moving forward with all preparations required for testing, followed by launch.

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