Back to the Launch Pad: How to Watch the Artemis 1 Rollout

Back to the Launch Pad: How to Watch the Artemis 1 Rollout

NASA’s Space Launch System is ready to roll out to the launchpad for the Artemis 1 mission. Originally scheduled to happen on August 18th, NASA’s ground systems team moved up the timeframe for the rollout of SLS to Launch Pad 39B, with the launch still scheduled for no earlier than August 29th.

Rollout of SLS to Launch Pad 39B, the first step to launching Artemis 1, is now scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th at 8 pm CST. The event will be covered live by NASA.

SLS on the launch pad ahead of wet dress rehearsal. Photo: Michael Galindo/Cosmic Chicago

The space agency will provide a live stream of roll out events on the NASA Kennedy YouTube channel, which is not the same as the main NASA YouTube channel.

Tomorrow will be the third rollout to the launch pad for SLS as it had to first go through testing and wet dress rehearsals. The wet-dress rehearsals were necessary to test the many systems of SLS and prepare the many teams on the ground, especially those in Mission Control. The prelaunch sequence stopped just seconds before liftoff to practice everything from propellant loading to tank draining.

A view of the modified crawler-transporter 2 carrying SLS to the launchpad. Photo: Michael Galindo/Cosmic Chicago

The first rollout of SLS took place on March 17th and took nearly 12 hours to reach Launch Pad 39B. After a leak in the upper stage, among other issues, was discovered, SLS returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for repairs.

The second rollout of SLS for Artemis 1 happened on June 6th, 2022. A hydrogen leak presented itself, but the wet dress rehearsal continued, and the team completed their tasks. Teams at NASA rolled SLS back to the VAB on July 2nd, 2022, where it has been undergoing repairs and preparations ahead of the final rollout for launch.

A view of the Orion spacecraft and launch abort system atop SLS. Photo: Michael Galindo/Cosmic Chicago

Artemis 1 is an uncrewed mission that serves as a flight test of SLS and Orion to pave the way for future missions to the moon. In addition to this primary mission, NASA will fly several science and technology payloads, including ten CubeSats deployed to conduct deep space experiments and carry out lunar observations.

To learn more about SLS, read our Guide to Space Launch System.


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Sophie Sanchez

I’ve turned a lifetime fascination for space exploration and astronomy into a career writing, speaking, and creating STEM programming about all things space. Until I get the chance to experience space for myself I’ll share the stories of every mission of a lifetime I have the opportunity to witness.

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