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NASA fast-tracks Artemis I Moon rocket launch

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NASA

NASA announced today that the engineers and technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida completed the final testing and checkouts of the Artemis I Moon rocket, making the new rollout date as soon as 9 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 16 ahead of the targeted August 29 launch. 

SEE: Here’s how NASA’s astronauts are preparing to go to the Moon

Artemis I is the first phase of the Artemis mission, in which the Space Launch System (SLS) will launch the Orion spacecraft into Earth orbit where it will travel 40,000 miles beyond the Moon in a four to six-week mission. 

Through this unmanned test flight, NASA hopes to learn more about their deep space exploration systems to send astronauts to the moon and Mars. The flight will test the performance of the SLS rocket and gather engineering data throughout the mission, according to NASA. Another crucial component of the flight is to test the heat shield’s performance as it enters Earth’s atmosphere. 

SEE: NASA sets a launch date for the Artemis I mission around the Moon

The Artemis mission has three phases which will culminate in the third phase that will land astronauts back on the moon, including the first woman and person of color. 

NASA says teams are currently working to prepare the integrated stack, the SLS rocket with the attached Orion capsule, for the rollout. You can watch the Artemis 1 stack roll to Launch Pad 39B through a live stream of the rollout which will begin at 3 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 16 on the NASA Kennedy YouTube channel

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