NASA's Space Launch System rocket recently completed another milestone on its way to take off with the URRT or the Umbilical Release and Retract Test.
NASASpaceflight.com reported this said test was carried out on the rocket earlier this month as it stood in the Vehicle Assembly Building or VAB's High Bay 3.
During the test, the rocket's swing arms and the "T0 umbilicals" at the rocket's base, this report specified, were commanded to respond from the vehicle as they ought to during the standard SLS launch countdown.
The test took place on Mobile Launcher 1 or ML-1, described in the NASA website, and allowed teams on the ground to validate and very the timings, functions, and mechanism of the said URRT system that will both separate and move the arms that back data and communications pathways and fueling ports for the upper stage, away from the rocket at launch, against the tower.
Tower Built on ML-1
The tower itself is constructed onto ML-1 and supports the swing arms and their data fueling systems, but the Orion capsule and Service Module with purge lines, data and communication paths, and access for crewed missions the Orion vehicle.
This is the same Mobile Launcher for the Artemis 1 mission and the other flights using ICPS or Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage.
It was first developed in 2010 for Ares I, although the Constellation program, ML-1, was enhanced with SLS Block 1 with the ICPS.
After Artemis 3, NASA is set to move to ML-2, a different launch tower that will support the SLS Block 1B's launches and its Exploration Upper Stage, replacing the ICPS.
2ND Mobile Launcher Required
As indicated in this report, another Mobile Launcher, a second one, is required as a modification of ML-1 was not possible as it would take more than two years between launches of SLS.
Regardless of which Mobile Launcher is used, the SLS rocket comprises various umbilicals attached to different ML tower parts.
At the rocket's bottom part sit the Aft Skirt Electrical Umbilicals or ASEU, which offer communication to the Solid Rocket Booster or SRBs and communicate with the Launch Release System to give the final release command. Both, according to this report, were not part of the URRT.
What Comes After This Milestone?
According to a Space Explored report, the next major milestone for the space launch system will be the so-called "Wet Dress Rehearsal."
Expected to occur in November, SLS will be completely fueled, and teams will carry out a practice launch countdown.
This will emphasize each of the systems and prove that SLS and its teams are ready for launch. As indicated in the modal section, the vibration, during this test, sensors will be active. They will measure how the vehicle is swaying in the wind, something that cannot be tested inside the VAB.
Meanwhile, SLS avionics will get their test as well while out at LC-39B. The said avionics utilizes various sensors such as Gyroscopes, Accelerometers, and Magnetometers, among others.
Lastly, one thing these sensors can detect is the drift from an original position because of the rotation of Earth. Such a test involves commanding the engines to gimbal as if to correct the rotation of this planet.
Related information about the SLS rocket is shown on MDx Media's YouTube video below:
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