NASA completes stacking of rocket for upcoming moon mission

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NASA completes stacking of rocket for upcoming moon mission (Image tweeted by @NASA)
NASA completes stacking of rocket for upcoming moon mission (Image tweeted by @NASA)

New Delhi : Engineers and technicians have successfully completed stacking the rocket for their upcoming moon mission. They secured the Orion spacecraft atop the fully assembled Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida just before midnight October 21, the US space agency said in a statement.

As the whole unit has been stacked, it has become 322 feet tall inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA Kennedy. Now, some internal tests will be done on the rocket before it lifts off to the sky in February 2022.

"With the stacking and integration of NASA's Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft complete, we're getting closer and closer to embarking on a new era of human deep space exploration," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, in the statement.

"Thanks to the team's hard work designing, manufacturing, testing, and now completing assembly of NASA's new rocket and spacecraft, we're in the home stretch of preparations for the first launch on the Artemis I mission, paving the way to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond for many years to come," he added.

The mission has been named Artemis I and it aims at creating new ways for the future flights to the moon. Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of colour on the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone on the way to Mars.

Once the systems are verified, the 322-foot-tall rocket will roll back into the VAB for final inspections and checkouts, including the second part of the flight termination system test, ahead of returning to the pad for launch.