Artemis 1 Moon mission: NASA concludes cryogenic test, all objectives achieved


The unmanned Artemis I flight test is the first in a series of flights that will pave the way for potential human deep space travel.

All goals for the cryogenic demonstration test have been accomplished, and the launch director has given the go-ahead for technicians to begin emptying the rocket’s tanks and other crucial safeing tasks. Early in the loading process, engineers discovered a hydrogen leak, but they were able to fix the problem and continue as planned.

The demonstration had four major goals: 

  1. Checking the repair for the hydrogen leak found during the last launch attempt 
  2. Loading propellants into the tanks using new techniques;  
  3. Executing the kick-start bleed 
  4. Completing a pre-pressurization test

For the purpose of preventing leaks caused by sudden shifts in temperature or pressure, the new cryogenic loading methods and ground automation were developed to allow for a gradual transition between the two phases during tanking.

Early in the process, the crew discovered a leak, so they lowered loading pressures even more while they investigated the problem and prepared for the demonstration test. To lessen the schedule risk during the countdown on launch day, engineers calibrated the parameters required for conditioning the engines during the terminal count and validated timeframes in advance via a pre-pressurization test

The Artemis I flight test will be conducted without  pilot. It is the first in a series of increasingly challenging missions meant to set the framework for human space travel and demonstrate our commitment to and capability of sending humans beyond the Moon.

As part of its Artemis missions, NASA aims to place the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon. This will open the way for a permanent lunar presence and serve as a stepping stone for sending humans to Mars.

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