NASA’s giant robot is in motion as it approaches giant moon rocket launch

Engineers and technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida drive a Carrier Crawler 2 to the doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on March 11, 2022. Soon you will enter the VAB, where you will take the Artemis I Moon rocket to launch pad 39B. Image credit: NASA/Chad Siwick

Yesterday, engineers and technicians from[{ » attribute= » »>NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida drove Crawler Transporter-2, which will carry NASA’s Moon rocket to the launch pad, to the doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Soon, the 6.6-million-pound crawler will go inside the VAB and slide under the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft placed on the Mobile Launcher. Technicians will finish up preparations to transport the rocket traveling at a top speed of 1 mph to Launch Complex 39B for a wet dress rehearsal test ahead of the Artemis I launch.

This week, the Kennedy team also completed painting the NASA worm logo on the Space Launch System solid rocket boosters. While painters added parts of the iconic logo before the segments were stacked, they had to wait until the boosters were fully assembled to finish the job.

In addition, the team continued to transport 20 platforms around the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft before setting it up for beta testing on March 17. The rehearsal will be the last major test of the Artemis 1 mission and will ensure that the rocket, spacecraft, ground equipment and launch crew “sleep” for launch.

Cover, planned for first launch event of NASA’s giant lunar rocket

NASA will hold a conference call Monday, March 14, to discuss the agency’s upcoming giant lunar rocket and integrated spacecraft for the unmanned Artemis 1 mission to the moon.

VAB Artemis I Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft

Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, working platforms are towed around the Artemis 1 Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft in preparation for their launch tests.Credit: NASA

The Space Launch System integrated rocket and Orion spacecraft are scheduled to launch on Thursday, March 17 from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The media call will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET following the completion of the test readiness review, which will determine whether the agency is ready to continue the mission. The call will be broadcast live on the agency’s website.

Among the conference call participants:

  • Tom Whitmer, associate director of exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission director at NASA Headquarters
  • Charlie Blackwell Thompson, Artemis Launch Manager, NASA Ground Exploration Systems Program, Kennedy
  • John Honeycutt, Program Manager, Space Launch Systems, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Howard Ho, Director of the Orion Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston

Live coverage of the deployment will begin Thursday, March 17 at 5 p.m. ET and will include live recordings from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other guests. The coverage will be broadcast on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency’s website.

At the booth, NASA will conduct an earlier final test, called a wet suit rehearsal, which will include uploading files[{ » attribute= » »>SLS propellant tanks and conducting a launch countdown.

The rollout involves a 4-mile journey between the Vehicle Assembly Building and the launch pad, expected to take between six and 12 hours. Live, static camera views of the debut and arrival at the pad will be available starting at 4 p.m. EDT on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.

Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone on the way to (function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if return(d.getElementById(id)); js = d.createElement(element); = id; js.src = "// v2.6"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs), } (document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk');

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