NASA’s Artemis I Moon Rocket Arrives at Launch Pad for First Time

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NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen illuminated by spotlights atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B, Friday, March 18, 2022, after being rollout out to the launch pad for the first time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Around 4:15 a.m. ET on March 18, 2022, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion Spacecraft for the Artemis I mission arrived atop Launch Complex 39B after a nearly 11-hour journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Artemis I First Rollout Spotlights

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen illuminated by spotlights atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B, Friday, March 18, 2022, after being rollout out to the launch pad for the first time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ahead of NASA’s Artemis I flight test, the fully stacked and integrated SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft will undergo a wet dress rehearsal at Launch Complex 39B to verify systems and practice countdown procedures for the first launch. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

In the coming days, engineers and technicians will prepare the Artemis I rocket for its final major test – the wet dress rehearsal. The approximately two-day test will demonstrate the team’s ability to load cryogenic, or super-cold, propellants into the rocket, conduct a launch countdown, and practice safely removing propellants at the launch pad. After wet dress rehearsal, engineers will roll the rocket and spacecraft back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for final checkouts before launch.

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