NASA’s most powerful lunar rocket hits the launch pad for the first time

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The Artemis I mission to the Moon begins to roll. The engines are still months away, but NASA’s ambitious project has already begun to move. NASA’s gigantic SLS, the most powerful rocket of the North American aerospace agency has already reached the launch area, Launch Complex 39B, located about 6.5 kilometers of the assembly tower, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Supporting the huge rocket we have the caterpillar transporter and next to the SLS and its characteristic orange color we find the Orion ship, which will be launched together. It’s about the First time NASA’s ambitious rocket leaves assembly hall and it starts up to carry out the wet test, one of the tests necessary to check that the rocket is ready for launch.

A multi-hour drive to the drop zone

At approximately 5:45 p.m. ET (10:45 p.m. in Spain), the SLS and the Orion spacecraft started toward the launch pad. A tour lasting several hours, with breaks so that the team can carry out maintenance. Around 10:30 a.m. Spanish time, the SLS has arrived at Launch Complex 39B.

Moving a rocket of this size is not easy, nor can it be done quickly. In fact, the maximum speed of the conveyor is 1.3 kilometers per hour. Once on the platform, it is where the wet test will be carried out, which will verify that the propellants are ready.

Artemis Rollout

The images that this test has left us are quite exciting. NASA’s SLS is a colossal project, with more than a decade of work and a budget that exceeds 4,000 million dollars per mission. The SLS is the successor to the mythical Space Shuttle and seeing it moving on that platform, in the open air, recalls some of the most important episodes in the history of NASA. We are talking about the most powerful rocket in the world, along with SpaceX’s Super Heavy that will move the Starship.

Artemis I NASA

The first launch of NASA’s SLS is expected this summer. The first Artemis I mission to the Moon will not be manned and it is estimated that it could be carried out between the end of the year and 2023. It will serve as a test for the Artemis II mission, scheduled for 2024 and which among its milestones will include carrying the first woman to the moon.

Pictures | NASA HQ Photo

The Artemis I mission to the Moon begins to roll. The engines are still months away, but NASA’s ambitious project…

The Artemis I mission to the Moon begins to roll. The engines are still months away, but NASA’s ambitious project…

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