NASA tries again to complete moon rocket’s practice countdown

Countdown clocks began ticking Saturday for NASA’s fourth attempt to complete a dress-rehearsal countdown and fueling test of its Space Launch System moon rocket.

a requirement before the huge booster can be cleared for launch on its long-awaited maiden flight.

“There’s nobody that wants to get through this more than the EGS team, and all of our teams, understand where we get to in the terminal count and then get back,” said Jim Free.

The countdown began at 5:30 p.m. EDT and if all goes well, the two-day test will tick into its final hours Monday morning.

when engineers plan to remotely load the rocket’s first and second stages with three quarters of a million gallons of supercold liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel.

Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson plans to count down to T-minus 33 seconds and then carry out a recycle that will mimic an unplanned hold.

At that point, just before the rocket’s four main engines would begin their start-up sequence in an actual launch, computers will stop the test.

The goal is to make sure complex launch control software, the rocket’s electrical, mechanical and propellant systems, along with their interfaces with launch pad support equipment.

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