Space

NASA Artemis I Moon Rocket Ready To Roll Out To Launch Pad

SLS Orion High Bay 3 VAB

In this view looking up in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, all of the work platforms that surround the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are fully retracted. Credit: NASA/Glenn Benson

Engineers and technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida have completed the final testing and checkouts of the Artemis I Moon rocket ahead of rolling out to Launch Pad 39B. NASA is targeting as soon as 9 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. PDT) on Tuesday, August 16 for rollout ahead of a targeted August 29 launch.

Yesterday, the crawler-transporter rolled inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and under the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. Teams are currently working to prepare the integrated stack for rollout.

A view of Moonikin “Campos” secured in a seat inside the Artemis I Orion crew module atop the Space Launch System rocket in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 3, 2022. Credit: NASA

Over the weekend the team completed testing of the flight termination system, which marked the final major activity prior to closing out the rocket and retracting the final access platforms in the VAB.

The agency will provide a live stream of the rollout beginning at 3 p.m. EDT (12 p.m. PDT) Tuesday, August 16 on the NASA Kennedy YouTube channel.

Two manikins are installed in the passenger seats inside the Artemis I Orion crew module atop the Space Launch System rocket in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 8, 2022. As part of the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE) investigation, the two female manikins – Helga and Zohar – are equipped with radiation detectors, while Zohar also wears a radiation protection vest, to determine the radiation risk on its way to the Moon. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

Artemis I is the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is an uncrewed flight test, the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to the Moon. Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone to send astronauts to Mars.

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