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
(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).