HOUSTON (CW39) — The step by step process is now underway, to plug a leak on Artemis 1.

A Hydrogen leak detected right before the Artemis 1 was attempting a launch Saturday, September 3, has put a future take off on hold for now.

One solution NASA engineers have decided to attempt, is replacing the seal on an interface, called the quick disconnect. That’s located between the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line on the mobile launcher and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Making it even more interesting, is this is all being done, right on the launch pad! This type of work is often done inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB.

According to NASA, actually performing the work at the launch pad requires technicians to set up an enclosure around the work area. This will help protect the hardware from the weather and other environmental conditions, but enables engineers to test the repair under cryogenic, or super cold, conditions. Performing the work at the pad also allows teams to gather as much data as possible to understand the cause of the issue.

Even after all of that work, NASA teams may still return the rocket to the VAB to perform additional work, that does not require use of the cryogenic facilities available only at the pad.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B during preparations for launch, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Engineers still need to check plate coverings on other umbilical interfaces to ensure there are no leaks present at those spots. And that takes time. There are seven main umbilical lines, and each line can have multiple connection points.

And in order to meet the current requirements to launch by the Eastern Range and to receive full certification on the flight termination system, NASA would need to roll the rocket and spacecraft back to the VAB, before the next launch attempt to reset the system’s batteries.

For more information on the Artemis 1 and the full Artemis Mission program, got to the NASA website.