NASA Unveils Sneak Images Of Its Most Powerful Rocket Ever Built
By Alexa Heah, 24 Sep 2021
Image via NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems
NASA recently released never-before-seen pictures of its Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket, the most powerful spacecraft the agency has ever built.
The rocket is currently being assembled at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and will be used to launch the Artemis 1 mission—which will send an Orion spacecraft to the moon’s orbit. The date for takeoff isn’t set just yet, but it could happen any time in 2021 or 2022.
Upon looking at the pictures, you’ll realize the SLS rocket is huge. Its center is 212 feet high, and weighs 188,000 pounds. Just before the actual mission, the Orion spacecraft will be added to the top of the rocket, making the behemoth even larger.
The new sneak peeks were captured as NASA ran an Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT), which helps test if all of the SLS’ connections are working in sync. The rocket has myriad umbilicals connected to it at any given time, supplying it with fuel, power, and even coolant.
According to CNET, while Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission, it will help prepare NASA for its highly-anticipated Lunar Lander Mission, in which American astronauts will return to the Moon.
Take a look at the amazing pictures and footage below.
NEW FOOTAGE 🚨 Watch as the different platforms around the SLS rocket retract as part of the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT) at @NASAKennedy. @NASAGroundSys conducted the test to prepare for future #Artemis I stacking and launch activities >> https://t.co/HNSKsaXf8c pic.twitter.com/IV8MrSwrYn— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) September 22, 2021
These new photos of the @NASA_SLS show an unobstructed view of the rocket with the retraction of 10 work platforms for the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT) inside of High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building at @NASAKennedy. pic.twitter.com/D8HKe7R79u— NASA's Exploration Ground Systems (@NASAGroundSys) September 20, 2021
More images of @NASA_SLS taken around the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT) inside High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Teams will continue tests inside the building before transporting @NASA_Orion and stacking it atop the SLS, completing assembly for Artemis I. pic.twitter.com/6oNKELnL1m— NASA's Exploration Ground Systems (@NASAGroundSys) September 23, 2021
[via CNET, cover image via NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems]
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