Merritt Island, Fla. (WHNT) — Preparation is underway at Kennedy Space Center as NASA gets ready for the wet dress rehearsal for the Artemis 1 Mission. The wet dress is the next step, following the rollout which took place earlier in March of 2022.
During the wet dress test, engineers will demonstrate the ability to conduct a full launch countdown at the pad, including loading and draining cryogenic, or supercold, propellants into the Artemis I rocket.
Today, NASA officials held a teleconference to bring updates on the Artemis 1 Mission. Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for common exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters in Washington, and Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis Launch Director gave updates on the timeline and purpose of the wet dress.
They told News 19 that the rehearsal will start with “call to stations” starting at 5 p.m. (EST) on Friday, April 1. Over the next 48 hours, they will conduct various other tests and processes related to the countdown.
They will run through the terminal countdown process twice. The first time, they will stop with 33 seconds left. They will then reset the process and run the countdown all the way until T-Minus 10 seconds. The purpose of the test is to basically do everything except hit the “go” button.
After the wet dress, NASA will examine how it went and dive through the data collected.
“It will take a couple of days to evaluate not only the success of the test but if we saw something unusual that we need to address, and kind of fix up,” Whitmeyer stated.
Whitmeyer said NASA will then provide another update on Monday, April 4, to explain what was gained from the test. That data will help NASA determine a launch date for the Artemis 1 Mission.
NASA officials say they anticipate to announce an official launch window sometime around April 11.
The wet dress rehearsal will last from Friday, April 1 to Sunday, April 3. It will happen on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.