NASA will launch its massive rocket for a trip around the moon earlier than planned.
The agency was targeting Thursday (August 18th) for Artemis 1 A Space Launch System (SLS) rocket makes a slow flight to Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center before liftoff on August 29. But on Monday (August 15), NASA announce (Opens in a new tab) That plan has changed, with the offering submitted until the evening of Tuesday (August 16). You can watch coverage of the rollout starting at 3 PM EST (1900 GMT) with permission from NASA.
Agency officials wrote in a message: “NASA is targeting as early as 9PM EST on Tuesday, August 16 the launch of NASA_SLS prior to the targeted launch of #Artemis I on August 29.” tweet (Opens in a new tab).
Live updates: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission
The Artemis 1 stack will move to the launch pad on top of the Apollo 2 era crawler carrier. While the crawler and rocket will only travel 4 miles (6.4 kilometers), the flight will take 8 to 12 hours, according to previous NASA data.
This week’s launch will see the missile’s third display from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the launch pad. Previous launches, in March and June, have been preceded by attempts at what NASA calls a rehearsal, during which the rocket is refueled and personnel go through all the pre-launch steps.
We are really on our way today!! 👏 Crawler Transporter 2 has begun moving into the Vehicle Assembly Building, in what could be called the first movement towards the launch of Artemis I! pic.twitter.com/Bwxtk2p2NxAugust 15, 2022
This time around, if all goes well, the rocket will make a more dramatic departure from the launch pad, blasting off on an uncrewed test mission around the moon that NASA hopes will pave the way for current astronauts to set foot on the moon. The launch could happen as early as August 29; Additional launch opportunities Available September 2 and 5.
Agency officials said that depending on the launch date, the Artemis 1 mission will last between 39 and 42 days. During that time, NASA will be able to assess how the Orion capsule will propel into space before the first manned flight, Artemis 2, which is scheduled to launch in 2024.
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