NASA Moon Megarocket Wet Dress Rehearsal: How to Watch This Weekend – CNET

The wet dress rehearsal for Artemis I will involve everything except actually blasting off.
Amanda Kooser

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Everything but the launch. NASA is ready to tackle a key test of its Space Launch System rocket ahead of dialing in an actual target launch date for the Artemis I moon mission. The wet dress rehearsal is scheduled to take place April 1-3. NASA will provide a livestream of the rocket during the test.
« The approximately two-day test will run the Artemis I launch team through operations to load propellant into the rocket’s tanks, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock, and also drain the tanks to give them an opportunity to practice the timelines and procedures they will use for launch, »Â NASA said in a statement.  
It’s challenging enough to launch a familiar, flight-proven rocket, but SLS is the new kid in town. After the lengthy process of stacking SLS and putting the Orion capsule on top, NASA slowly rolled the entire behemoth out to its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.    
Livestream viewers shouldn’t expect to catch a ton of scintillating action. The tests take time to work through. NASA will stream the proceedings on the Kennedy Space Center Newsroom YouTube channel starting at 9 a.m. PT on Friday, but won’t provide audio or live commentary. We’ll embed that stream once it’s available. 
NASA will also publish operations updates on its Artemis blog, which will be one of the best ways to keep tabs on rehearsal progress. NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account is another informational place to check. Bad weather in the form of possible rain and thunderstorms could impact the timing of events over the weekend.   
Artemis I is the first mission designed to put SLS and Orion through their paces. The capsule will travel around the moon with no crew on board. NASA intends to launch humans with the Artemis II mission.
If the wet dress rehearsal goes smoothly, NASA will look at setting a firmer target launch date for the moon mission. It could happen in June, but don’t be surprised if that gets pushed back. NASA wants to make sure everything is as perfect as can be before it kicks off the Artemis era in earnest.