NASA showed off at the Kennedy Space Center the Artemis I rocket, which it hopes to carry the next manned mission to the Moon in 2024. The system is made up of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft.
Mounted on a mobile launcher, the Artemis I left this Thursday, March 17, 2022, from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the launch pad of Launch Complex 39B.
“The first outing of the VAB is an emblematic moment for this vehicle. Being here for a new generation of a super-heavy exploration vehicle is a day to remember,” said NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development Tom Whitmeyer from Florida.
The structure stands 120 meters tall (nearly 400 feet) and weighs 5,000 tons, and was moved by the Crawler Transporter at just over a kilometer per hour (less than a mile per hour). By the same token, it would take NASA no less than 11 hours to cover the 5.0-kilometre (3.1-mile) journey.
For “the next few weeks” the start of the general test with fuel circulation is expected, which seeks to demonstrate the capacity of the equipment to load more than 3.2 million liters (700,000 gallons) of cryogenic or supercold propellants.
As reported by the POTthe goal of the next step (estimated for Sunday, April 3) will also be to “practice all phases of the liftoff countdown and drain the thrusters to demonstrate the safety of stalling on a launch attempt.”