More than two months after a practice countdown for the Artemis 1 launch, NASA has released audio from the launch team after gaining export control clearance. The audio provides a sneak peek of what to expect on launch day.
In this footage, you can also see the Space Launch System core stage engines move as part of a pre-launch test at T-2 minutes, 30 seconds. For the first time in history, the agency is restricting the news media’s access to audio and video from the launch control center for a civilian mission. NASA says it is withholding access to the audio for export control reasons.
On launch day, we will only hear the final 15 minutes of the countdown. NASA has not explained why it is restricting access to video, like that seen during the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, other than saying the launch director will not authorize it. We’ve matched this audio to our video coverage of the Wet Dress Rehearsal that occurred on June 20, 2022. The video includes long periods of silence.
The practice countdown ended with a cutoff at T-29 seconds. The launch team had originally planned to count down to about T-9 seconds but a problem with the rocket’s hydrogen bleed system caused automated systems to stop the clock.