Categories: Space

NASA’s Mega Moon Rocket Launch Preparations Remain on Track, Weather 70% Favorable

SLS Rocket and Orion Spacecraft

SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft. Credit: NASA

Engineering teams continue to prepare NASA’s mega Moon rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground systems for the Artemis I launch. The two-hour launch window opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT (5:33 a.m. PDT) on Monday, August 29. It will be the first flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the complete Orion spacecraft.

A golden sunrise surrounds NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft for Artemis I on the pad at Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 22, 2022.  Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

At Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39B, technicians completed servicing the hydraulic power units on the Space Launch System rocket’s boosters on Wednesday. After finishing the final work inside the Orion crew module, including loading the Snoopy zero gravity indicator and removing soft covers protecting Orion’s windows and seats, the crew module hatch was closed at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Next, engineers will close the launch abort system hatch and retract the crew access arm used to provide access to the spacecraft. Booster and core stage engine service platforms as well as side flame deflectors have been moved into position for launch.

A sunrise view of NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft for Artemis I on the pad at Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 22, 2022. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 currently predict a 70% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch on August 29. The primary weather concern for the two-hour launch window is scattered rain showers. A list of launch weather criteria is available here.

NASA is providing a live stream of the rocket and spacecraft at the pad. The countdown is set to officially begin at 10:23 a.m. EDT (7:23 a.m. PDT) on Saturday, August 27.

A full schedule of events is available here.

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