Dress rehearsal for NASA’s deep-space rocket cut short by mere seconds – Loren Grush

NASA’s Space Launch System on its launchpad at KSC | Photo by Loren Grush / The Verge

After three previous aborted attempts, NASA successfully fueled its new massive deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System, for the first time on Monday — completing a critical milestone ahead of the vehicle’s first flight. However, there was a shadow over the achievement. The fueling was part of an elaborate dress rehearsal that ended 20 seconds earlier than NASA had planned, and it’s unclear if the agency got all the data and practice it needed to proceed with the rocket’s debut launch.

The Space Launch System, or SLS, is a key piece of NASA’s flagship Artemis program — an elaborate effort to send the first woman and the first person of color to the surface of the Moon. But first, SLS needs to actually fly, and before that can happen, N…

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