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NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket is “on track” for deployment Friday, November 4

NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar rocket will make another trip to the launch pad Friday, Nov. 4 ahead of its historic lunar mission.

Artemis 1 is NASA’s first massive mission Space Launch System (SLS) mega rocket and the second for the Orion spacecraft capsule that it will launch into lunar orbit. The rocket was returned to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) three times – once in April and July after refueling tests, and again in September for sheltered from hurricane Ian.

If all goes as planned, SLS and Orion will return to Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday, November 4, with a 6.4-kilometer journey beginning at 12:01 a.m. EDT. (0401 GMT), according to a NASA blog post (opens in a new tab) released Friday (October 28). NASA adds that “minor repairs identified by detailed inspections are mostly complete” on the SLS rocket before the next launch window.

Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 Lunar Mission: Live Updates

After: NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission explained in photos

After the final return to VAB on September 26 to shelter SLS from Hurricane Ian, NASA engineers completed testing and repairs to the rocket. “Testing of the reaction control system on both solid rocket boosters, as well as the installation of the flight batteries, is complete and these components are ready for flight,” NASA wrote in the blog post.

NASA adds that engineers also replaced the batteries in the rocket’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS), which was “powered up for a series of tests to ensure the stage is functioning properly.” Final confidence checks were also performed on the ICPS, the second stage of the rocket that will propel it, and the Orion capsule to the moon once the solid rocket boosters and core stage of SLS have been jettisoned after the launch. takeoff and combustion of the first stage.

There are still several systems that engineers continue to work on, including replacing the batteries on the core stage and upper section of the rocket. Testing of the Flight Termination System, which is designed to destroy the SLS if something goes wrong during launch, will resume next week once the rocket returns to pad, NASA wrote.

The agency will attempt to launch the Artemis 1 mission no earlier than November 14 at 12:07 a.m. EDT (0407 GMT).

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