Artemis I Moon Rocket Heads Back to Launchpad for Testing

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with its Orion spacecraft left its Vehicle Assembly Building atop a mobile launcher on 6 June 2022 and went on an eight hour journey to its Florida launch complex to undergo a fourth attempt at dress rehearsal fuelling tests later this month. It will be loaded with super-cold propellants as the last phase of a countdown rehearsal ahead of a planned launch later this summer. The massive 322-foot-tall (98 meters) rocket is the largest ever built by NASA at the Kennedy Space Center and is central to its Artemis moon programme aiming to bring astronauts back to the lunar surface by the end of the decade. Its first flight will be unmanned, however, and will send an unpiloted Orion crew capsule around the moon and back to Earth before it aims to put humans back on the moon for the first time since 1972.

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