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NASA loads the Artemis I rocket with fuel during a major troubleshooting test

Men in white lab coats and hard hats stood on the steps near the massive rocket base
At the Space Launch System base, repair crews work to replace the seal on September 8, 2022. | Photo by NASA/Chad Siwick

Today, NASA tanked its next-generation moon rocket from nowhere. Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel were loaded into the Space Launch System (SLS) today during an hours-long test of its troubled fuel system.

NASA called the “kinder, gentler” fuel process being tested after a hydrogen leak stymied the rocket and Artemis I mission’s second launch attempt on Sept. 3. The new procedures are “designed to slowly transition temperature and pressure during tanking to reduce the potential for leaks caused by rapid changes in temperature or pressure,” NASA said in a blog post.

“I’m very encouraged by today’s test,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, launch…

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