The Space Launch System for the Artemis 1 mission stands fully-stacked inside NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA
Now that NASA’s giant Space Launch System Moon rocket is fully assembled inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, its launch date is becoming more clear.
According to NASA officials in an Oct. 22, 2021, teleconference, a launch window for the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission is expected to open Feb. 12, 2022, assuming the remainder of all the pre-launch testing finishes on time.
Earlier this year, the launch was projected for sometime in November of 2021. But now, with processing the Artemis 1 SLS rocket months behind, scheduling warrants a launch attempt in 2022.
On Oct. 20, engineers stacked the Orion spacecraft with its launch abort system atop the SLS, capping off the 322-foot-tall Moon rocket in high bay 3 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The final assemblage of the Space Launch System signals the “homestretch toward the mission” as the agency continues readiness for launch early next year, said Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis 1 program manager during the Oct. 22 teleconference.
At the same briefing, Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for ...