NASA’s mega-moon rocket ready for liftoff on eve of debut Artemis mission

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By Joey Roulette

NASA's next-generation moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with its Orion crew capsule perched on top, stands on  launch pad 39B at Cape Canaveral,
NASA's Orion crew module for the Artemis 3 mission stands in the Operations and Checkout Building at Cape Canaveral
NASA's Orion crew module for the Artemis 3 mission stands in the Operations and Checkout Building during a media tour at Cape Canaveral

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NASA’s Orion crew module for the Artemis 3 mission stands in the Operations and Checkout Building during a media tour at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. August 28, 2022. REUTERS/Steve NesiusRead More

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug 28 (Reuters) – Launch teams at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida spent a final full day of preparations ahead of Monday’s planned liftoff of NASA’s giant next-generation rocket on its debut test flight, kicking off the agency’s Artemis moon-to-Mars program 50 years after the end of the Apollo era.

NASA officials said on Sunday that all systems appeared “go” for liftoff, and weather forecasts called for an 80% chance of favorable conditions at the top of Monday’s two-hour launch window, starting at 8:33 a.m. EDT (1233 GMT), diminishing to 60% toward the end of that period.Advertisement · Scroll to continuehttps://52f62b725cb699b20f187d814dd4302c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlReport an ad

If the countdown clock is halted for any reason, NASA has set Sept. 2 and Sept. 5 as potential backup launch dates.

“Everything to date looks good from a vehicle perspective,” said Jeff Spaulding, senior NASA test director for the landmark mission, called Artemis I. “We are excited, the vehicle is ready, it looks great.”

Although lightning rods at the launch site were struck during a storm on Saturday, Spaulding said he has not “seen anything on the ground systems that give us any concerns.” NASA said there was no damage to the spacecraft or launch facilities.Advertisement · Scroll to continuenullReport an ad

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is set to propel an uncrewed capsule named Orion around the moon and back on a six-week test flight designed to put both vehicles through their paces before flying astronauts in a subsequent mission targeted for 2024. The SLS-Orion combo, standing 322 feet (98 meters) tall, form the centerpiece of the U.S. space agency’s successor to the Apollo moon program of the 1960s and 1970s.Advertisement · Scroll to continue

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