Lightning struck NASA’s SLS rocket launch pad

NASA delayed the wet test of the gigantic SLS rocket after detecting a technical failure amid adverse weather.


A problem with the pressurization of the launch system forced NASA to scrub its wet dress rehearsal of the SLS megarocket on  Sunday, but it hopes to resume testing on Monday.

The wet dress rehearsal is necessary for NASA to test basically all of the systems leading up to the launch of its Space Launcher System (SLS) rocket, without actually launching the rocket.

The SLS ‘s propellant tanks were due to be loaded on Sunday morning, but NASA said it lost the ability to pressurize the mobile launcher, the platform that provides all the vital connections to the rocket, due to a problem with two fans designed to create a positive pressure and “prevent the entry of dangerous gases”.

Artermis I launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said the team made the decision to pull out to fix the problem and “make another run” in Monday’s wet dress rehearsal.

with rays included

The wet dress rehearsal has also had to deal with some nasty weather in Florida. The SLS rocket and Orion capsule are currently parked at Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral.

The severe weather that passed resulted in lightning strikes around the platform.

“It turned out that we had not one, but four strikes within the perimeter of the platform,” they said from NASA. “We had prepared for a lightning strike as part of our mission preparation,” he noted.

The fourth was the strongest bolt and, although it did not cause any damage, the SLS rocket and the Orion capsule did not work. However, weather set the team back about four hours according to Blackwell-Thompson.