Human WorldSpace

Launches: Surprise rollout for Artemis 1

Launches: Silhouette of tall rocket next to gantry tower.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will roll out to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday (August 16, 2022). Launch of the Artemis 1 mission – NASA’s 1st step in a human return to the moon – is scheduled for no earlier than August 29, 2022. Image via NASA TV.

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August 16, 2022 Launches update: Surprise rollout for Artemis 1

NASA seems as eager as the rest of us to get its mighty Space Launch System off the ground. It announced on August 15 that the Artemis 1 moonship – with its Orion spacecraft – was ready to be rolled out to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, August 16. Previously, the schedule had indicated the rollout wouldn’t happen until Friday.

NASA’s Artemis blog announced the gun-jumping on Monday. And, apparently, NASA feels as if there’s no time like the present, now that SLS vehicle testing is complete. According to the blog:

The crawler-transporter will roll inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and under the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft later today. Teams are currently working to prepare the integrated stack for rollout.

Over the weekend the team completed testing of the flight termination system, which marked the final major activity prior to closing out the rocket and retracting the final access platforms in the VAB.

The early rollout does not mean an early launch for Artemis 1. NASA is still targeting a date of no earlier than August 29, 2022 – two weeks from Monday – for liftoff. Artemis 1 will place the uncrewed Orion spacecraft in orbit around the moon. Afterward, the capsule will return to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

The Artemis 1 mission is the first of three missions that NASA hopes will carry humans back to the moon by the middle of this decade.

Update August 17: Rollout complete. Video here:

Bottom line: August 16, 2022 Launches blog update. NASA announced on August 15 that Artemis 1 would be rolled to the launch pad, several days ahead of schedule.

August 16, 2022
Human World

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