SLS Team Conducts Propellant Loading for Core Stage of Green Run Test

Space Coast, FL – NASA and Boeing engineers successfully completed propellant loading during the seventh core stage Green Run test, wet dress rehearsal Sunday, Dec. 20. The gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s tanks were loaded with more than 700,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center
B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center shows the first flight core stage for NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket installed for Green Run testing | photo: NASA Stennis

Engineers monitored all core stage systems during the test as propellant flowed from six barges into the core stage in the B-2 Test Stand. First analysis at the data indicate the stage performed well during the propellant loading and replenish process. Part of the test was to simulate the countdown with the tanks loaded, leading up to 33 seconds prior to the engines firing. However, the test ended a few minutes short of the planned countdown duration.

Artemis SLS Green Run Check List
Artemis Testing: NASA SLS Green Run Checklist | image: NASA

Data to be Analyzed

The core stage and the B-2 test stand are in excellent condition, and it does not look to be an concern with the hardware. The team is evaluating data information to pinpoint the precise cause of the premature shutdown. They will then decide to move ahead with the final test.

crews at Stennis Space Center lifted and installed the first core stage
Jan. 21-22, 2020, crews at Stennis Space Center lifted and installed the first core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket onto the B-2 Test Stand | NASA Stennis

Should teams go forward with the green run test it will be the 8th and final test for the SLS. The last test is a hot fire test with all four of the stage’s RS-25 engines firing. Just as they will during the Artemis I launch. After the firing test, the stage will be assembled with the other parts of the rocket and the Orion spacecraft, in preparation for the first integrated flight of SLS and Orion on Artemis I.

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