KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (WHNT) — NASA says it learned a lot from its recent wet dress rehearsal attempt, despite having to cancel the test before fully fueling the rocket. Officials haven’t set a new date for the test to continue but hope it will be soon.

The two-day practice run of pre-launch activities, known as the ‘wet dress rehearsal’ was delayed for a second time Monday due to a vent valve issue.

“After inspection, we found that the manual hand valve was in the closed position and it should have been opened,” says Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director.

Despite the challenges and delays, NASA says that’s what tests are for and they accomplished several test objectives during the test runs over the weekend.

Those objectives are all activities that will be necessary for launching the SLS in the future and include:

  • Configuring Launch Pad 39B and the mobile launcher for the test, just as it will have to be for launch
  • Clearing personnel and equipment from the launch pad after configuration in order to go forward with propellant loading
  • Powering up Orion and the SLS rocket systems in launch configuration, including the solid rocket boosters, the core stage, and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage
  • Checking out and verifying the Orion spacecraft countdown and commanding by Johnson Space Flight in Houston
  • Checking out the guidance, navigation and control system as well as all the integrated software that operates across the rocket, Orion, ground systems and ground support centers including the Launch Control Center
  • Verifying and checking out all the range safety and systems with the range
  • Draining the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen after the test
  • Powering down the rocket, the spacecraft and ground systems and putting them in a safe configuration

“There’s a lot of learning going on and we are a learning organization and we take pride in learning from these tests and we are taking the time to apply those lessons learned and roll that into the next attempt,” says Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager.

NASA drained all the fuel out of the rocket and says it will restart the fueling process from where it left off when the test resumes.

“The team has really come together not only through training but also through this test program and has demonstrated resilience, remarkable technical discipline and toughness as they work through these issues,” says Sarafin.

Blackwell-Thompson explained they are at a good holding point, just before the fueling of the rocket and because of that they don’t have to start the test from scratch.

“We are going to get past the partially successful test that we had earlier this week and we anticipate we will have a fully successful test in short order here,” says Sarafin.

NASA will continue to work on the new timeline for a new wet dress rehearsal date which will be some time after the Axiom Space-1 launch scheduled for Friday which will take the first private astronauts to the International Space Station.