Artemis 1, NASA’s lunar mission, has returned to the launch pad. Around 12:10 a.m. EDT (0410 GMT) Monday morning (June 6), technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida began rolling the Artemis 1 stack — a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket atop an Orion crew capsule — out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), resuming the mega moon rocket’s 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) journey to historic Launch Complex 39B.
Artemis 1 arrived to the pad just before 10:00 a.m. EDT after a 10-hour nighttime voyage (1400 GMT). The vehicle stack and ground systems are now awaiting another attempt to fuel the rocket and mimic a launch countdown in preparation for a vital series of tests known as a wet dress rehearsal, which is set to begin on June 19.Artemis 1 will be the much-anticipated first journey for SLS, which delays and cost overruns have plagued throughout its development. (Orion has already flown once, in 2014 on a trip to Earth orbit.)
The initial rollout of Artemis 1 from the VAB to Pad 39B occurred on March 17, followed by a wet dress rehearsal on April 1. Because NASA’swas unable to finish all of the testing, the vehicle and its mobile launch platform (MLP) were rolled back to the VAB on April 25 for repairs. Technicians addressed the core reasons of the initial wet dress scrub and took use of their time in the VAB to speed up the deployment of other planned improvements.