Science

Watch NASA launch the Artemis 1 lunar rocket to the launch pad today

NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar rocket will return to the launch pad again early Friday (November 4) and you can watch the slow motion live.

The Artemis 1 stack — a massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket topped by the Orion spacecraft — is set to roll out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 00:01 EST. 04:01 GMT) on Friday.

Artemis 1 will head towards KSC 39B, the starting point for the mission, scheduled to launch on November 14th. The 4-mile (6.4 km) journey is expected to be completed on NASA’s Giant Tracked Transporter-2. take about 10 hours.

NASA will be broadcasting live at least part of this long journey, if past episodes of Artemis 1 are any guide. Space.com will be broadcasting this webcast courtesy of the space agency.

Related: NASA Artemis 1 Lunar Mission: Operational Updates
Read more: NASA Artemis 1 Lunar Mission Explained in Photos

A NASA Space Launch System rocket with an Orion capsule on top before deploying the launch pad scheduled for Nov. 4, 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Image credit: NASA)

This will be Artemis 1’s fourth trip with VAB to pad 39A. The rocket flew in March and June to conduct pre-launch tests for refueling, and then returned again in mid-August for a launch attempt.

Failures thwarted planned launch attempts in late August and early September, and then NASA returned Artemis 1 to VAB in late September to shelter from Hurricane Yan.

Mission members used this last stay at VAB to perform minor repairs and maintenance, as well as a series of tests to ensure the Artemis 1 was airworthy.

Artemis 1 is the first mission under NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to have a permanent and sustainable human presence on and around the Moon by the end of the 2020s.

Artemis 1 will be the first flight for SLS and the second for Orion. It will send the uncrewed capsule on about a month-long cruise to and from lunar orbit. If all goes well, Artemis 2 will launch astronauts around the Moon around 2024, and Artemis 3 will stop at the Moon’s south pole a year or two later.

Mike Wall is the author of Out There (will open in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrations by Carl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or on facebook (will open in a new tab).

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