SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 September 2022, Monday |

NASA’s big, new moon rocket set debut in rollout to Florida launch pad

NASA’s next-generation moon rocket was set to begin a slow-motion voyage from an assembly plant to its launch pad in Florida on Thursday, ahead of a last series of testing that will determine how soon the spacecraft can fly in the coming weeks.

The public’s first look of a space vehicle more than a decade in the making, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with its Orion crew capsule sitting on top, marks a critical milestone in US plans for resumed lunar exploration after years of disappointments.

The 5.75-million-ton, 32-story-tall SLS-Orion spacecraft was expected to be moved out of its Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral around 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), weather permitting.

The megarocket, which stands taller than the Statue of Liberty, will be towed to Launch Pad 39B by a massive crawler-transporter over a 4-mile (6.5-kilometer) journey that will take roughly 11 hours. NASA Television and the space agency’s website will broadcast the event live.

On Wednesday, forecasters predicted that weather along Florida’s Atlantic coast would be favorable.

The flight, which will pave the way for NASA’s uncrewed Artemis I mission to the moon and back, was delayed last month due to a series of technical issues that the space agency said were overcome as technicians prepared the rocket for the launch pad.

“We’re in great shape and ready to start rolling on Thursday,” Artemis launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said earlier this week.

The SLS-Orion spacecraft will be prepped for a vital pre-flight test known as a “wet dress rehearsal,” which will begin on April 3 and last approximately two days.

In a top-to-bottom review of the entire system, engineers aim to fully load the SLS core fuel tanks with super-cooled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant and conduct a simulated launch countdown, stopping seconds before the rocket’s four R-25 engines would ignite.

The SLS-Orion spacecraft will be prepped for a vital pre-flight test known as a “wet dress rehearsal,” which will begin on April 3 and last approximately two days.

In a top-to-bottom review of the entire system, engineers aim to fully load the SLS core fuel tanks with super-cooled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant and conduct a simulated launch countdown, stopping seconds before the rocket’s four R-25 engines would ignite.

    Source:
  • Reuters