Artemis 1 moon rocket rollout: Meet the NASA machine doing the heavy lifting

When NASA rolls its Artemis 1 moon mission out to the launch pad today (March 17), most eyes will be on the giant rocket gearing up for its first-ever flight. But the machine carrying it deserves some attention, too, for it’s a marvel in its own right.

On Artemis 1, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket will send an uncrewed Orion capsule on a roughly month-long journey around the moon. The mission is expected to lift off in May or June, but the SLS-Orion duo will trek to the pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida today for testing, including a crucial “wet dress rehearsal” that will practice many of the procedures performed on launch day.