The world’s most powerful rocket left the safety of the Vehicle Assembly Building months after it was rolled back in, to begin its journey to launch to the Moon. On November 14, the Space Launch System (SLS) with the Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch to the Moon.
The rocket departed the assembly building on a 6.4-kilometer journey to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crawler-transporter is transporting the rocket. The spacecraft has previously attempted two launches, both of which were marred by engine problems and fuel leaks.
‘Once outside the VAB high-bay doors, the Moon rocket will make a planned pause allowing the team to reposition the crew access arm on the mobile launcher before continuing to the launch pad. The journey is expected to take between eight to 12 hours,’ Nasa said in a blog update.
It also stated that the agency will provide an update once the rocket arrives at the launch pad.
Engineers replaced the batteries on the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) before moving the rocket, which was powered up for a series of tests to ensure the stage was functioning properly. Inside Orion, teams also recharged, replaced, and reinstalled several radiation instruments as well as the crew seat accelerometer before the crew module closed for roll.
The American space agency has made two attempts to launch the rocket on a journey to the Moon, which will be the next attempt by humans to explore the Moon. The two attempts were marred by major complications such as hydrogen leaks and engine problems, which have since been resolved.
The $4.1 billion test flight will kick off Nasa’s return to the moon since the Apollo moonshots of the 1960s and 1970s. No one will be inside the crew capsule for the debut launch. Astronauts will strap in for the second mission in 2024, leading to a two-person moon landing in 2025.