Artemis I Rocket Readied for Return to Launch Pad for Tanking Test

With all of the work platforms retracted, NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft atop the mobile launcher are in view in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3, 2022. The crawler-transporter, driven by engineers, will carry the Artemis I stack and the mobile launcher to Launch Complex 39B for a wet dress rehearsal test ahead of the Artemis I launch. Photographer: NASA/Glenn Benson
Engineers and technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center are conducting final preparations for next week’s roll out of the Space Launch System (SLS) Moon rocket and Orion spacecraft. Currently scheduled for Monday, June 6, the rocket will depart the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and head to Launch Pad 39B for the Artemis I wet dress rehearsal.

Teams successfully completed all major planned objectives identified during the previous wet dress rehearsal attempts, as well as some forward work previously planned for after the tanking test. The removal of the final set of platforms is complete and the crawler transporter sits underneath the massive rocket, spacecraft and mobile launcher.

First motion is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 6, and the launch team will closely monitor weather conditions and use the best window to complete the journey. The four-mile trek will take approximately 8-12 hours to arrive at the launch pad, after which the crawler transporter will make its way back down the pad surface and rest outside the pad gate.

Engineers will then connect the rocket and spacecraft to the ground systems and conduct check-outs in preparation for the tanking test, planned for approximately two weeks after the rocket arrives back at the pad. NASA will provide a live stream at 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 3 with an exterior view of the VAB ahead of the rollout of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as well as the arrival at launchpad 39B  on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube Channel.