On November 14, the next launch of a new generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will take place. Previously, launches were repeatedly postponed due to technical malfunctions or adverse weather conditions. The space agency has another window next week to try to successfully send a SLS rocket into space.
The SLS rocket arrived at launch pad 39B last Friday after being in the VAB building all October due to bad weather. The decision to transfer SLS to VAB was caused by the approach of Hurricane Ian at the end of September. While at VAB, NASA engineers were able to do the work to eliminate previous problems and prepare the rocket for launch next week.
Tiny rocket on a giant pad
The company Airbus Space, which participated in the construction of the Orion spacecraft, has published a stunning aerial photo showing the SLS rocket on the launch pad before the first flight next week. The rocket looks tiny in the photo, although stand at its base and you will quickly appreciate the full 98-meter height of this powerful space accelerator.
Guess who’s back… back again! ????#PléiadesNeo ???? spotted @NASA_SLS ???? back on the launch pad!
With @NASA_Orion onboard, last preparations are ongoing before launch on 14th November. ????#OrionESM #Artemis pic.twitter.com/SSgcg6hKe9
— Airbus Space (@AirbusSpace) November 7, 2022
Moreover, the SLS has 13% more power than the Space Shuttle boosters and 15% more than the Saturn V rocket. Such incredible power promises to be an amazing spectacle that will attract thousands of people to the Florida Space Coast, as well as for others who will watch this event online.
Flight of Artemis I
In case of a successful launch, the SLS will launch the Artemis I mission. As part of the mission, the rocket will launch the Orion spacecraft into orbit without a crew, which will then automatically fly to the Moon, where it will approach 100 km from the lunar surface, and then return to Earth on December 9.
The Artemis I mission is a test mission of Artemis II, which will follow the same route, but with astronauts on board. After that, Artemis III will bring the first woman and the first African-American to the surface of the Moon. Artemis III is scheduled to launch no earlier than 2025. It will be the first crew landing on the Moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972.
Earlier we reported on the TOP 5 interesting facts about the NASA SLS rocket.
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