Watch NASA launch the Artemis 1 rocket onto the launch pad early Friday
NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar rocket will return to the launch pad early Friday morning (Nov. 4), and you’ll be able to watch the action live in slow motion.
Artemis 1 stack — huge Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on top Orion spacecraft — is scheduled to depart from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 12:01 a.m. EDT (04:01 GMT) on Friday.
Artemis 1 will head towards KSC’s Pad 39B, the launch pad for the mission, which is targeted for a November 14 launch. The 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) trip, made atop NASA’s giant track transporter-2, is expected to take about 10 hours.
NASA will live-stream at least part of this long journey, if Artemis 1’s past trajectories are any guide. Space.com will broadcast that webcast, courtesy of the space agency.
This will be Artemis 1’s fourth trip from VAB to Pad 39A. The rocket took off in March and June to conduct pre-launch fueling tests, then returned again in mid-August for a liftoff attempt.
Errors thwarted planned launch attempts in late August and early September, and NASA then returned Artemis 1 to VAB in late September to shelter from Hurricane Ian.
Mission team members used this latest stay at VAB to perform minor repair and maintenance work, along with a series of tests to ensure Artemis 1 is ready for flight.
Artemis 1 will be the first flight for SLS and the second for Orion. It will send an uncrewed capsule on a roughly month-long cruise to lunar orbit and back. if all goes well, Artemis 2 will launch astronauts around the moon in 2024 or so, and Artemis 3 will put the boots down near the south pole of the Moon a year or two later.
Mike Wall is the author of “There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).
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