Artemis: cryogenic test completed successfully, progress with the project

Artemis positively concluded the cryogenic test, a fundamental test for the correct continuation of the mission in view of the launch of Artemis I scheduled for September 27 (with October 2 as a backup date in case of problems). After the postponements at the beginning of the month caused by the loss of liquid hydrogen during the propellant loading phase in the central stage of the Space Launch System, the objectives have been achieved.

The area was cleared this morning at 9:40 Italian time, the green light for load of cryogenic propellant it will be given as indicated at 13:00 (always Italian time, at Launch Pad 39B of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida it will be 7:00 in the morning), hoping that this time everything goes smoothly. On this occasion, the countdown for the launch simulation will end at 3:40 PM local time (9:40 pm in Italy), but the test will be concluded in any case 40 minutes earlier (i.e. once the test objectives have been reached).

Countdown, meaning of L Minus and T Minus: the first indicates the time left to take-off, expressed in hours and minutes. The second represents a sequence of events that occur before the end of the countdown (in practice it indicates the time left to the beginning of each of these). There are pauses in the countdown to allow the team to complete certain tasks without impacting the final countdown time. During these breaks T Minus will be stopped, L Minus will not.


Therefore, the problems that caused the postponement of the launch seem to have been solved: they were in fact replace some liquid hydrogen seal valves between the Space Launch System and the mobile launcher after one with a small indentation was found. The loss could have been caused by this very defect.

The four stages:

  • evaluation of the repair
  • loading of propellants according to the new procedures (reduction of the probability of leaks thanks to slower temperature and pressure variations)
  • execution of the kick-start bleed (engine cooling)
  • pre-pressurization test to bring the liquid hydrogen tank to the pressure level it will have at launch



A success on all fronts: NASA has completed the cryogenic test reaching the set goals. Initially it was feared that there might be a new stop due to a leak of hydrogen, but the technicians were able to solve the problem and continue operations.

Four are the objectives achieved:

  • evaluation of the repair carried out following the loss of hydrogen in the past few days
  • loading of propellants according to the new procedures
  • engine cooling (kick-start bleed)
  • pre-pressurization test

NASA explains that the new cargo process has reduced risk of losses thanks to slower temperature and pressure changes during refueling. The problem encountered at the beginning of the operations was solved by further reducing the load pressures. Now there will be the moment of data analysis, then the second step: the launch to the Moon.

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Artemis: cryogenic test completed successfully, progress with the project