SLS rollout moves forward ahead of Artemis 1 launch

SLS rocket on LC-39B

The launch of Artemis I has been a long-anticipated (and delayed) event. At last, the rocket is nearing its launch. With barely more than two weeks until the planned launch, the rocket is now set to head for the launchpad on Tuesday evening.

The rollout, which had been planned for just after midnight on August 18, made a rare move forward on the schedule to August 16. NASA announced that we can expect first motion around 9 p.m. ET tomorrow. While these moves forward aren’t common, this comes shortly after NASA extended the certification of the flight termination system.

The flight termination system is only certified for a certain number of days after the batteries are installed and charged. The certification of the batteries for the FTS was recently extended from 20 days to 25 days, providing a bit of extra time at the pad should one of the later launch opportunities in early September be needed.

Large crowds are expected around the space coast for the launch, where hundreds of thousands could gather to watch the first SLS rocket launch. The first opportunity for this launch is on August 29.

NASA faced some complications during the vehicle’s first wet dress rehearsal at the pad, which required SLS to return to the vehicle assembly building. During the second wet dress rehearsal in June, the agency faced some more hiccups, but the rehearsal went well enough for NASA to work toward launch.

Watch Artemis I rollout and launch.

While SLS will start its journey to LC-39B in the light, it has a long and slow journey on the crawler. The best way to watch the rollout for the general public will be through NASA’s livestream. Space Explored photographers will also be on site capturing the Mega Moon Rocket make its journey to the launchpad.

The launch of Artemis I will be visible across central Florida, and those located on the space close will have a great view. While Playalinda beach will be closed, anywhere from Cocoa beach to Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville will provide a great view – but expect heavy crowds and traffic that require you to arrive hours ahead of time and wait after the launch

For those who won’t be in Florida for the launch, NASA’s livestream will have the closest view you can get. You can see the livestream on the NASA YouTube channel or embedded below.

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