On Thurs., NASA rolled out its new giant Moon rocket ahead of its expected lift-off on Aug. 29.
NASA's 322-ft-tall rocket began a 6km journey to its launchpad on Tuesday. The agency has planned for the rocket to orbit the moon before returning to Earth 42 days later.
The mission, known as Artemis 1, will be an uncrewed test flight of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) mega rocket and its Orion spacecraft. The spacecraft will travel 2.1M kilometers and it will be hotter than any spacecraft in history upon its return.
The mission is designed to test the rocket's safety and performance before the same technology is used to send astronauts back to the moon later this decade.
The 3 million-kg crawler that carried the rocket to its pad has been used for more than 50 years at the Kennedy Space Centre. The rocket now sits atop its designated launch pad at the centre.
NASA has designed the series of Artemis missions to pave the way for a long-term lunar presence and to serve as a stage for sending Astronauts to Mars.
Narrative A, as provided by Wired. Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, including the first woman to make the journey. As part of a long-term plan for a Moon to Mars exploration in the next two decades, the Artemis project is a formidable step towards reaching much further in our solar system in the years to come.
Narrative B, as provided by Politico. Despite the longevity of the planning for the Artemis program, only now is NASA creating a single management structure to handle the project. While NASA's intentions are exciting, there is a clear lack of administration that may even impede the personnel moon landing planned for 2025.