Credits: NASA

Teams with NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) Program successfully tested the upgraded environmental control system on mobile launcher 1 while it’s at Launch Pad 39B at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for Artemis II. This system provides air supply, thermal control, and pressurization to SLS (Space Launch System) and the Orion spacecraft during cryogenic propellant loading. 

During propellant loading, the environmental control system purges specific compartments within Orion and SLS using gaseous nitrogen to maintain the proper environmental conditions. This is critical, as the rocket and spacecraft must be in a safe and stable configuration and temperature when dealing with hazardous gasses. The severtal-week test, which started April 17, was conducted in two parts. Teams first started flowing air through the system and then followed by flowing gaseous nitrogen.   

This marks the next set of tests complete for EGS teams as part of the integrated system verification and validation testing in preparation for Artemis II, the first crewed Artemis mission that will send four astronauts around the Moon and back next year. 

The testing puts the team and ground infrastructures to work and ensures each are functioning properly and allows the team to update and refine procedures ahead of launch. Part of this series includes testing the launch pad’s environmental control system, the emergency egress system, the ignition overpressure protection and sound suppression system, among others. 

NASA Kennedy Teams Test Upgraded Environmental Control System for Artemis II