The lunar rocket is ready to be placed on the launch pad

NASA engineers have almost completed preparations for the first installation of a superheavy SLS rocket on the launch pad. It is scheduled for March 17.

On the eve of this historic event, NASA released a short video. It demonstrates the various components of the huge rocket, as well as the staff who were involved in its assembly and preparation for the upcoming launch.

SLS will be delivered to the launch site using a mobile conveyor. Then, as part of the dress rehearsal, the rocket will be fully refueled, and engineers will work out the pre-launch countdown procedure. Then the SLS will be returned to the Vertical Assembly site for final operations to prepare it for launch.

The first launch of SLS

Currently, the launch of SLS is scheduled for late spring — summer 2022. The nearest ballistic windows for the flight to the Moon will be open from May 7-21, June 6-16, and June 29 to July 12.

SLS rocket. Source: NASA

We should realize that the SLS will send an Orion unmanned spacecraft to the Moon. It will spend 26 days in space (including six days in orbit around the Moon), after which it will return to Earth. In addition to various instruments and scientific equipment, the ship will also have a flash drive with the names of people who will take part in the Fly your name around the Moon action.

Worth to note that, in addition to Orion, SLS will also deliver the associated load in the form of ten devices created on the basis of the Cubesat platform. Some will study the Earth and space weather, others will go into orbit around the Moon, and the NEA Scout spacecraft will deploy a solar sail and go to explore near-Earth asteroids. We have previously written about this unusual device.