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NASA’s Mega Moon Rocket arrived at the launch pad Wednesday morning as the Kennedy Space Center prepares for the rocket’s debut flight in two weeks.
The Artemis moon rocket arrived at the launch pad around 7:30 a.m. EST after being hauled over a four-mile stretch from its hangar in the Vehicle Assembly Building over a 10-hour period. The Space Launch System (SLS) moon rocket measures 322 feet in length and uses a core stage and twin strap-on boosters.
The moon rocket’s launch is currently scheduled for Aug. 29 at 8:33 a.m. EST, according to NASA. Three mannequins with sensors will be placed inside the rocket’s capsule to measure radiation and vibration.
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The capsule is expected to orbit the moon at a distance for several weeks before splashing down in the Pacific. The entire timeline will last approximately six weeks.
NASA engineers and technicians will be working to configure systems at the launch pad over the next several days.
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The flight is the first moonshot as part of NASA’s Artemis program. NASA is currently working toward a lunar-orbiting flight with astronauts within the next two years as well as a lunar landing by a human crew by 2025.
Wednesday’s launch pad trip is the rocket’s third so far. An April countdown test was riddled with fuel leaks and equipment trouble, forcing the rocket to be returned to its hangar for repairs. A June dress rehearsal was repeated with positive results.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.