We love it when a rocket comes together.
In October 2021, NASA completed stacking the large Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for its Artemis 1 moon mission interior the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. That used to be a large milestone for the business enterprise and its moon-exploration plans, and a newly launched time-lapse video captures the procedure for posterity.
The two-minute video, which NASA launched on Wednesday (Feb. 9), suggests the many steps required to collect the 322-foot-tall (98 meters) SLS, which consists of a central core stage and two strap-on strong rocket boosters. The closing step, as considered in the time-lapse, was once the attachment of the Orion crew pill to the pinnacle of the core stage.
Related: How NASA's Artemis moon touchdown with astronauts works
The Orion spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis I mission, entirely assembled with its launch abort system, is lifted above the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in High Bay three of the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 20, 2021.
The Orion spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis I mission, entirely assembled with its launch abort system, is lifted above the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in High Bay three of the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 20, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/Frank Michaux)
As its identify suggests, Artemis 1 will be the first flight of NASA's Artemis program, which objectives to set up a everlasting human presence on and round the moon by using the stop of the 2020s. It will additionally mark the debut of the powerful however oft-delayed SLS. (Orion has flown as soon as before, on an uncrewed check flight to Earth orbit that launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket in December 2014.)
Artemis 1 will ship an uncrewed Orion on a day out round the moon, making sure that each the SLS and the tablet are prepared to launch astronauts safely to deep space.
NASA is presently gearing up for a key Artemis 1 "wet costume rehearsal," which will take vicinity at KSC's Launch Complex 39B. The SLS-Orion stack will be fueled on the pad and taken via the regular prelaunch sequence at some stage in the test, which will give up brief of engine ignition.
The moist gown rehearsal is predicted to take region someday in March, NASA officers wrote in an replace Friday (Feb. 11). There is presently no set launch date for Artemis 1, although a liftoff in April or May appears likely.
Artemis 2, the program's first crewed mission, is centered for 2024. That flight will take astronauts on a day trip round the moon, however they will no longer land on it. Artemis three will ship astronauts to the lunar surface, with SpaceX's Starship spacecraft serving as the lander. NASA hopes to launch that historical mission someday in 2025.
Mike Wall is the creator of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated with the aid of Karl Tate), a e book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.
Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.Com and joined the crew in 2010. He chiefly covers exoplanets, spaceflight and army space, however has been acknowledged to dabble in the house artwork beat. His e book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was once posted on Nov. 13, 2018. Before turning into a science writer, Michael labored as a herpetologist and natural world biologist. He has a Ph.D. In evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's diploma from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificates in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To discover out what his modern day assignment is, you can comply with Michael on Twitter.
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