HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — North Alabama is once again preparing to see the fruits of its labor in the upcoming flight of the Space Launch System. The SLS is being readied for its first mission, Artemis, and experts say after delays, there could be major progress as soon as the end of the month.

The SLS and Orion capsule do have the potential to make their first appearance for a dress rehearsal at the Kennedy Space Center by the end of March.

The first launch of Artemis I will be uncrewed and could happen as soon as this summer.

These new dates come after NASA’s Inspector General announced varying technical difficulties pushed launch schedules back not only for Artemis I, but the next two missions as well.

Artemis I will include a trip around the moon, while also dropping satellites for research.

This is just the first of many Artemis missions that will eventually get astronauts back on the moon and at some point, Mars.

In addition to Marshall Space Flight Center, which manages the SLS program, a number of contractors with bases in Huntsville have contributed to making the SLS the next great rocket. Those include Boeing, Dynetics, Northrop Grumman, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, to name a few.

The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce said these missions will leave a lasting impact not only on the future of space travel, but on the Rocket City itself when it comes to interest from companies centered around spacecraft manufacturing or management.

“We’re building on that big reputation. Companies like Blue Origin have located their operations here. Companies like ULA are across the river in Decatur because of our reputation and our experience developing launch vehicles so it attracts companies here of course, and the state’s largest paid tourist attraction is the Space and Rocket Center. So I think you’re going to see a resurgence of interest in going to see that legacy vehicle as well as some expectations of what can we see that will take us back to the moon,” Chamber Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Mike Ward said.

Ward adds the SLS program supports about 13,000 jobs across Alabama and generates more than $2 billion dollars in economic output, not to mention more than $55 million in state and local taxes.