NASA's Artemis 1 mission was unfortunately postponed when a fuel leak was identified during the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) in
The SLS rocket experienced two critical malfunctions when NASA officials detected a liquid hydrogen leak that was traced back to the fuel line seal between the SLS rocket and mobile launcher. The September 3 launch attempt was postponed as a result of the leak as engineers were unable to remedy the problem in time for the launch window to close. NASA has taken to its blog to explain that NASA engineers have analyzed the seals and replaced them.
Additionally, NASA's teams found a small indentation on the eight-inch-diameter liquid hydrogen seal, which has led the team to believe that the indentation contributed at least to some degree to the fuel leak during the launch attempt. NASA writes on its blog that it will be conducting a cryogenic demonstration test on Wednesday, September 21, which is essentially the space agency testing the repairs to the SLS by fueling, running its engines through the necessary processors prior to launch, nd then not launching.
"With new seals, updated cryogenic procedures, and additional ground software automation, teams are now preparing to demonstrate the updates under the same cryogenic conditions the rocket will experience on launch day. During the demonstration, the four main objectives include assessing the repair to address the hydrogen leak, loading propellants into the rocket's tanks using the new procedures, conducting the kick-start bleed, and performing a pre-pressurization test," writes NASA.
"Performing the pressurization test during the demonstration will enable teams to dial-in the necessary settings and validate timelines before launch day, reducing schedule risk during the launch countdown," writes NASA.