Updated: Jun 6
NASA's Space Launch System rocket is a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, which will carry Astronauts to the Gateway Space Station orbiting the Moon. Before carrying Astronauts, SLS has to prove that it can successfully launch the Orion spacecraft around the Moon and safely return to Earth. The next step for NASA before this Artemis I demo mission is to roll SLS to Launch Complex 39B for a full Wet Dress Rehearsal. This rehearsal will take place about a week after arriving at the pad, currently targeted for Mid-February, where they will go through the entire countdown process and fuel the rocket, stopping before engine ignition. They will then practice detanking the rocket of all its fuel and if it was successful, roll it back to the VAB for final preparations to launch. NASA is currently targeting Late-Spring -> Early Summer 2022 for the launch of Artemis I.