CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WHNT) – After a 10 hour and 28-minute journey NASA’s mega moon rocket has reached the launchpad for the next set of tests.
The Space Launch System (SLS) left the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:47 p.m. Thursday and arrived at Launch Pad 39B Friday morning at 3:15 for a final test before the Artemis I Mission.
News 19 was able to sit down with NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana to discuss the SLS’s successful rollout and the next steps that will bring us closer to stepping foot on the Moon for the first time in 50 years.
When asked about what it was like to have finally gotten to this step, to have the rocket on the pad, Cabana was all smiles.
“Oh absolutely amazing and as many of your viewers in Huntsville know, Huntsville’s played a huge role in that core stage for the launch system and getting us out there,” he said. “You know it’s just been, seeing everything come together you know, over the past few years, the crawler-transporter modifications, the mobile launcher getting built, having the hardware arrive, getting it stacked and tested in the VAB, but there is nothing like seeing a rocket roll out of that Vehicle Assembly Building on the way to the pad. And this rocket was truly built for that building. They had all the doors open all the way to the top to roll out.”
Cabana also explained what will happen during the test known as a wet dress rehearsal, aptly named because they will be fulling fueling the rocket at that time. That test is scheduled to take place April 1-3.
“Getting it out on the pad for this test, will go ahead and we’ll fuel it, we’ll do everything that we would for a launch; countdown to T-0 but not light the engines. We’re gonna learn a lot, we’ll roll it back into the Vehicle Assembly Building, make any corrections that we need to and then it will roll out for launch on that pad and I can’t wait to see that happen,” he said.
Cabana told News 19 the whole team has prepared well for this test and they discovered things in earlier tests that were already corrected before the rocket even made it to the Kennedy Space Center. He added that everyone has worked really hard and he is hopeful that everything goes perfectly.
Cabana said NASA will probably set a launch date in early June for the Artemis I launch.
The full interview with Cabana can be watched in the video player below:
At the end of the interview, Cabana told News 19, “My friends in Huntsville, you guys are an amazing team and that’s what this is all about. Space is a team effort.”