NASA video highlights first rollout of its mega moon rocket

It will be a pretty sight when NASA’s next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft make its first appearance on the launch pad later this week.

The new heavy launch vehicle is part of NASA’s Artemis program that will usher in a new era of human exploration of the moon as it makes its way to our nearest neighbor in the coming months.

Ahead of the rocket’s four-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to launch pad 39B on Thursday, NASA released a trailer (below) detailing the upcoming Artemis I mission and the hopes it holds. illuminated.

The world is going to see @NASAMoon’s rocket rolls to the launch pad for testing. #Artemis I will be a test flight for future manned missions to the moon.

We go.

— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) March 14, 2022

The SLS rocket, which stands at 322 feet (98.1 meters), has yet to fly, but has undergone extensive ground testing in recent years. The vehicle is capable of creating about 8.8 million pounds of thrust, making it 13% more powerful than the space shuttle and 15% more powerful than the Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo astronauts on their journeys to the moon five decades ago.

When SLS reaches the launch pad later this week, it will undergo final testing in preparation for the unmanned Artemis I mission, which could be launched as early as May this year. Artemis I will involve SLS in steering Orion on a flyby of the moon with the spacecraft returning to Earth about 26 days later.

A successful mission will pave the way for the manned Artemis II flight that will follow the same route. After that, the highly anticipated Artemis III mission will land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface, possibly before the end of this decade.

The hope is that the Artemis missions will lead to the creation of a long-term human presence on the lunar surface and also serve as a springboard for manned flights to Mars and possibly beyond.

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