NASA to Roll Artemis I Rocket, Spacecraft to VAB Thursday

NASA will roll the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission from launch pad 39B to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning Thursday, June 30. 

First motion for the rocket and spacecraft atop the mobile launcher is expected to occur at 8 p.m. EDT today. The 4-mile trek atop the crawler transporter from the launch pad to the VAB will take approximately 8-12 hours. The journey previously was expected to begin just after midnight on July 1 but was moved up by several hours due to forecasted weather in the area. Teams will continue monitoring weather in the area and the start of the roll is subject to change. 

Teams completed the wet dress rehearsal test campaign for Artemis I on June 20 and have configured the rocket and spacecraft for return to the VAB. Once there, teams will replace a seal on the quick disconnect of the tail service mast umbilical to address a liquid hydrogen leak detected during the rehearsal along with final servicing and checkouts. NASA plans to return the mega Moon rocket to the pad for launch in late August and will set a specific target launch date after replacing hardware associated with the leak. 

A live feed of the rocket’s arrival to the VAB will be available on the KSC Newsroom YouTube Channel.