SLS Unveiled in VAB as NASA Retracts Last Work Platforms Ahead of KSC Launch Pad Rollout: Photos

SLS Unveiled in VAB as NASA Retracts Last Platforms Ahead of Rollout to Launch Pad: Photos
In this view looking down in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, all of the work platforms that surround the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are fully retracted on March 16, 2022. The Artemis I stack atop the mobile launcher will roll out to Launch Complex 39B atop the crawler-transporter 2 for a wet dress rehearsal ahead of launch. Credit: NASA/Glenn Benson

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Mega Moon rocket has been fully unveiled for the first time today, March 16, after technicians retracted the last two work platforms surrounding the 32 story tall rocket inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where its components have been assembled together over the past year.

NASA released several spectacular new photos of the entire SLS from top to bottom standing atop the Mobile Launcher inside the VAB marking the historic occasion – featured herein.

The SLS stack is now ready for its maiden rollout from the VAB to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Thursday, March 17 to carry out a critical fueling test of the 322 foot tall vehicle in early April which will pave the way to launch on the unpiloted Artemis 1 lunar mission as soon as June – if all goes well.

“Platform retraction: COMPLETE. All of the platforms surrounding @NASA_SLS & @NASA_Orion have been retracted in preparation for rollout. On March 17, the #Artemis I stack will begin the journey to Launch Complex 39B ahead of the wet dress rehearsal test,” NASA tweeted with photos on March 16.

“NASA’s new Moon rocket stands poised inside Kennedy Space Center’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building ahead of its first journey to the launch pad,” NASA posted in a blog update March 16.

“Comprised of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, and sitting on its mobile launcher, the Artemis I Moon-bound rocket is ready to roll March 17 to Launch Complex 39B for its wet dress rehearsal test targeted to begin on April 1.”

And here’s an incredible panoramic view from midway up the booster.

The SLS moon rocket integrated with the Orion deep space human rated capsule will roll out from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) with first motion at approximately 5 PM EDT (2100 GMT) Thursday, March 17 – and should arrive at historic Launch Complex 39B at KSC about 11 hours later.

In this view looking up in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, all of the work platforms that surround the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are fully retracted on March 16, 2022. The Artemis I stack atop the mobile launcher will roll out to Launch Complex 39B atop the crawler-transporter 2 for a wet dress rehearsal ahead of launch. Photo credits: NASA/Glenn Benson

 

And here’s more NASA photos:

“Ready to see more photos of the #Artemis I Moon rocket inside of the Vehicle Assembly Building with platforms completely retracted? We’ve got you covered: https://go.nasa.gov/3IjfQ1I

You can sign up for a boarding pass here:

What is the purpose of the wet dress rehearsal (WDR)

“The dress rehearsal will demonstrate the team’s ability to load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or super-cold, propellants into the rocket at the launch pad, practice every phase of the launch countdown, and drain propellants to demonstrate safely standing down on a launch attempt. The test will be the culmination of months of assembly and testing for SLS and Orion, as well as preparations by launch control and engineering teams, and set the stage for the first Artemis launch,” says NASA.

In this view looking up in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, all of the work platforms that surround the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are fully retracted on March 16, 2022. The Artemis I stack atop the mobile launcher will roll out to Launch Complex 39B atop the crawler-transporter 2 for a wet dress rehearsal ahead of launch. Photo credits: NASA/Glenn Benson

SLS is the most powerful rocket the world has ever seen generating some 8.8 million pounds of liftoff thrust at ignition – about 15% more powerful than NASA’s legendary Saturn V that hurled the first humans to land on the Moon back in 1969 on the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

In this view looking down in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, all of the work platforms that surround the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are fully retracted on March 16, 2022. The Artemis I stack atop the mobile launcher will roll out to Launch Complex 39B atop the crawler-transporter 2 for a wet dress rehearsal ahead of launch. Credit: NASA /Glenn Benson

You can watch live, static camera views of the debut and arrival at the pad which will be available starting at 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday March 17, on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.

Learn more about Artemis 1 and NASA’s new webpage:

 

The Space UpClose team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright will attend and witness the rollout from VAB at the KSC Press Site

Be sure to watch for our rollout photos

In the meantime enjoy our UpClose pre-rollout photos herein of SLS 1 taken inside the VAB

Fully stacked NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis 1 Moon mission stands on top of mobile launcher, with core stage mounted in between the twin solid rocket boosters, inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

Fully stacked NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis 1 Moon mission stands on top of mobile launcher, with core stage mounted in between the twin solid rocket boosters, inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

The SLS was assembled in High Bay 3 and the right side doors will be opened by Thursday morning to expose the rocket for rollout to pad 39B.

My photos at KSC Press Site taken on March 16 below

SLS will rollout from VAB High Bay 3 doors at right on March 17 for WDR fueling test at pad 39B – photo taken on March 16, 2022. Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

 

SLS will rollout from VAB High Bay 3 doors at right on March 17 for WDR fueling test at pad 39B – photo taken on March 16, 2022. Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com
Countdown Clock at KSC with Artemis 1 logo displayed for SLS rollout – photo taken on March 16, 2022. Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

WFTV Channel 9 ABC News Orlando featured Ken ‘s pre-rollout commentary about how critical NASA’s Space Launch System  Artemis 1 launch to the Moon is to NASA – with 1st ever rocket rollout to pad 39B just days away at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Dr Ken Kremer of Space UpClose on WFTV ABC Orlando TV News March 14, 2022 explains the SLS rollout and critical nature of Artemis 1 is to NASA’s Return to the Moon program

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, JWST, IXPE, DART, Lucy Asteroid mission, GOES, SpaceX Cargo and Crew Dragons, SpaceX Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

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UpClose look at top of stacked solid rocket booster for NASA Space Launch System (SLS) for Artemis 1 Moon mission inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

UpClose look at top of stacked NASA Space Launch System (SLS) including Launch Abort System, Orion Crew and Service Module stacked inside the VAB for Artemis 1 Moon mission inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

Fully stacked NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis 1 Moon mission stands on top of mobile launcher, with core stage mounted in between the twin solid rocket boosters, inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com
Fisheye View of Artemis 1 inside VAB: Fully stacked NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis 1 Moon mission stands on top of mobile launcher, with core stage mounted in between the twin solid rocket boosters, inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

Fully stacked NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis 1 Moon mission stands on top of mobile launcher, with core stage mounted in between the twin solid rocket boosters, inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in Dec. 2021 ahead of launch slated for Spring 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

NASA Orion Artemis 1 crew capsule and ESM service module is assembly complete in Jan. 2021 during visit to NASA Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose at KSC for SLS Artemis 1 rollout

 

Jean Wright of Space UpClose with Artemis 1 SLS inside VAB at KSC in Dec 2021

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Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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