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The SLS tank test was deemed a success by NASA

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In Science and Space: NASA said it met all of its goals for the September 21 Space Launch System tank test despite the reappearance of liquid hydrogen leaks.

Another hydrogen leak occurred during pre-press testing on a second, smaller liquid hydrogen line, with concentrations up to 5%. Engineers continued to test and the leakage decreased over time.

The day-long test at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39B included filling the middle and upper stages of the SLS with liquid hydrogen propellant and liquid oxygen, performing a “liquid hydrogen purge launch”. in the mid-engine and “pre-press” test of the liquid hydrogen tank. The test is designed to confirm that changes such as replacement of washers and a new charging procedure will prevent hydrogen leakage was seen during a previous test launch on September 3. However, at the beginning of the test, controllers reported a liquid hydrogen leak at the tail service mast navel, where liquid hydrogen was transferred from the ground systems to the center stage, exceeding limit and temporarily stop charging. Heating the umbilical cord connection to the mid-stage and then cooling it seemed to work, with the leakage dropping below the 4% hydrogen concentration limit but not completely disappearing.

NASA said at the end of the test that it had met all of its goals, but declined to say it was ready to launch on September 1. 27.

The tropical climate may also play a role. A system now called Invest 98L is forming in the Caribbean, which is expected to become a tropical storm in the next few days and possibly track towards Florida, based on current long-range weather patterns. in. This will force NASA to at least consider bringing the SLS back to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

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