Cape Canaveral, Florida – NASA’s New Huge Rocket Artemis 1 The moon mission is on its way to the launch pad.
Thursday (March 17) 5:47 p.m. EDT (2147 GMT), with the largest doors open worldwide in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center here on the Florida Space Coast, the rocket that launched Will launch the next astronauts to the moon, began to roll onto the launch pad.
The rocket – NASA space launch system (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built – Roll toward KSC’s Pad 39B with the Orion spacecraft on top, both riding on the agency’s massive “crawler.” The transport vehicle, officially called 2 . crawler conveyor (CT-2), carried a 5.5 million pound (2.5 million kilogram) SLS and a 50,000 pound (23,000 kg) Orion capsule at a speed of about 0.8 mph (1.3 km/h) toward the pillow on a flight expected to last about 11 hours.
“In these launch pads, exceptional individuals achieve unimaginable things,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said during an online live broadcast of the launch. “Today is a new generation – not Apollo A generation, but it is a generation of Artemis – preparing to reach new heights. This generation will bring astronauts back to the moon, and this time, we will land the first woman and first person of color on the surface to conduct pioneering science.”
NASA Artemis program It will pave the way for mankind’s giant leap – future missions to Mars. He added, “There is no doubt that we are in a golden age of human exploration and discovery and creativity in space.” And it all starts with Artemis 1..”
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Once the SLS and Orion reach the launch pad, the mission team will spend a few hours lifting the rocket and spacecraft to the launch site. The pair will then go through a few weeks of testing on the platform before launching with Artemis 1, the first mission of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first humans on the moon since NASA. The last Apollo landing on the moon in 1972. Artemis 1, which will send an unmanned Orion on a flight around the Moon, is currently scheduled to launch no later than May.
The biggest next step for the mission after the rollout is “wet rehearsal,” which will see the mission team equip the SLS on the launch pad, perform a training countdown, and run the full pre-launch procedures (except for the actual launch).
The rehearsal is scheduled to take place in a few weeks, in early April. This experiment will be followed by eight to nine days of additional on-board testing before the SLS and Orion are slowly returned to the VAB on the crawler. There, members of the expedition team will assess how successful the clothing training and additional testing have been and whether any changes need to be made to the vehicles prior to launch. This information will also help the mission team determine the final timeline for next steps, and eventually launch.
Today’s rollout is an exciting and crucial step toward the launch of Artemis 1, which will test the space readiness and human spaceflight capabilities of both the SLS and Orion.
“The Space Launch System is the only rocket capable of sending humans into deep space,” Nelson said. “It’s the most powerful rocket in the world.” “Orion will venture far from any spacecraft designed for humans that has ever flown humans. It will stay in space longer than any spacecraft designed for astronauts… it did without docking to a space station.”
“Artemis 1 will demonstrate NASA’s commitment and ability to expand humanity’s presence on the Moon and beyond,” said Nelson. “But this mission isn’t just a vision of NASA’s leadership in space. It strengthens America’s small businesses. It supports America’s universities. It shows the strength of American scientists, mathematicians, and technicians.”
Nelson added that the Artemis program is an “economic engine for America,” noting that it has created $14 billion and supported 70,000 jobs across the United States.
Artemis 1 will be followed by Artemis 2, a manned mission around the moon, in 2024. Artemis 3, NASA’s first planned moon landing since 1972, is scheduled not later than 2025.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 6:58 p.m. EDT March 17 with comments from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and was updated with additional comments and details at 12:55 a.m. EDT March 18.
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