ScienceNASA's Artemis 1 megarocket rolls back to launch pad for moon mission

NASA’s Artemis 1 megarocket rolls back to launch pad for moon mission

NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket headed back to the launch pad Tuesday night (Aug. 19) to take a step closer to a landmark lunar mission.

Artemis 1 is an uncrewed test flight of the huge Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and its Orion spacecraft, and it began the rollout to a Kennedy Space Center launch pad at about 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT Wednesday, Aug. 17).

The Orion, stacked atop the rocket, began moving from the KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building for a journey that will take as long as 11 hours. The crawler carrying the Artemis 1 hardware must make a journey to Launch Pad 39B at roughly 1 to 2 miles an hour (1.6 to 3.2 km/h).

While the rollout is running, you can watch it live on NASA’s website (opens in new tab), NASA TV and the NASA app (opens in new tab). NASA’s webcast began at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT).

Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission: Live updates
More: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission explained in photos 

NASA elected to bring the rocket out a full two days earlier than planned. The agency said on its Artemis blog (opens in new tab) that the team finished flight termination system testing, the last major activity required until the rocket was closed out and the final access platforms at the VAB were retracted.

NASA has not released a detailed schedule of the rollout, which is expected to last between 8 and 11 hours depending on weather conditions, road conditions and other technical matters.

Related stories:

Blastoff of the uncrewed mission is scheduled for no earlier than Aug. 29, and will bring the Orion spacecraft around the moon on a test of the vehicle’s system for future human missions. In between will be several webcasts of the science and other tech on board the mission.

NASA hopes to send an Artemis 2 mission to orbit the moon, with people on board, as soon as 2024 with a landing mission, Artemis 3, set for 2025.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook. 

Latest

Sask. former leader of Canadian Nationalist Party found guilty of hate speech against Jewish people

Warning: This story contains offensive language.It took a jury...

Brittney Griner at ‘weakest moment’ in Russia, says wife of WNBA star

WNBA star Brittney Griner is at her "absolute weakest...

Former Canadian goalkeeper Labbe named Whitecaps GM of women’s soccer

The Vancouver Whitecaps have hired former Canadian national women's...

Don't miss

Andrew Tate shares ‘final message’ after being cancelled

Andrew Tate has released an hour-long "final message" via YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul in response to his ban from social media.

Addison Rae’s dad Monty Lopez loses TikTok blue checkmark

Monty Lopez really can't seem to catch a break...

Dixie D’Amelio cheated on Noah Beck with Lil Baby

Sheesh! We've got some extremely juicy cheating allegations here...

Groundbreaking AI-powered artist FN Meka signs to record label

FN Meka is the world's first AI-powered artist to sign with a major label. He has over one billion views on TikTok as the platform's top “virtual being.”

What is Hustlers University and who is Andrew Tate?

Hustlers University claims to be an online program which aims to help people make money online through 18 modern wealth creation methods.