We go! Massive moon rocket Artemis I reaches launch pad [Gallery]

NASA's Artemis I moon rocket arrives at the launch pad

SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, standing atop the mobile launcher, are photographed at Launch Pad 39B at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2022. The Artemis I stack was carried from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad – a 4.2-mile journey that took nearly 11 hours to complete – by the agency’s crawler-transporter 2 for a wet dress rehearsal ahead of the uncrewed launch. Artemis I will test SLS and Orion as an integrated system prior to crewed flights to the Moon. Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the lunar surface, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone on the way to Mars.

One of the many milestones leading up to the launch of Artemis is the rollout: Then a crawler will transport the SLS rocket with Orion and ESM from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39B. NASA’s John Giles gives us a tour of the crawler and explains the adjustments that have been made to this “wonderful piece of machinery” since it was first built for the Apollo program in the 1960s. ESA plays a key role in NASA’s Artemis program, which will bring astronauts back to the moon. The European Service Module – or ESM – will provide propulsion, power and thermal control for the Orion spacecraft. Photo credit: ESA – European Space Agency We go! Massive moon rocket Artemis I reaches launch pad [Gallery]

Tom Vazquez

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