Blue Dot: Liftoff! What it takes to launch NASA’s Artemis Moon rocket. (7/15/2023)

Artemis I rolls out of the VAB to the pad (Image by NASA)

After the successful launch of the Artemis I test mission to the Moon, NASA is gearing up for Artemis II, the first crewed mission to leave Earth orbit since 1972 with launch scheduled for November 2024. In this episode Dave Schlom visits with managers from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to find out what goes into launching America’s Artemis missions to the Moon with the Orion spacecraft perched atop the Space Launch System (SLS). First Dave visits with Senior Project Manager Jose Morales who has been in charge of modifying the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to prepare for America’s newest Moon missions and Senior Vehicle Operations Manager Cliff Lanham who is in charge of the stacking and testing of the launch vehicle and Orion spacecraft inside the VAB. Then we find out about one of the world’s most amazing machines, the massive crawlers that transport the rocket from the VAB out to the pad with Operations Manager John Giles. And finally we get a look inside the process of actually launching an Artemis mision with Assistant Launch Director Jeremy Graeber and Senior Technical Integration Manager Anton Kiriwas who take us inside KSC’s historic Launch Control Center Firing Rooms.

Airs Saturday, July 15 at 9am.

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