Close-ups of NASA’s moon rocket on the launch pad: These images from pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center show NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket awaiting a rollback to the Vehicle Assembly Building for repairs.
The photos were taken Thursday, April 21, as technicians prepared the 322-foot-tall (98-meter) rocket for rollback to the VAB to replace a faulty helium check valve on the upper stage and troubleshoot a hydrogen leak on the tail service mast umbilical connecting the mobile launch platform to the core stage.
Rollback to the VAB is scheduled for Monday, completing the rocket’s first visit to pad 39B. NASA transferred the Space Launch System moon rocket to the pad for the first time on March 17, and it arrived at the complex the next morning.
NASA is preparing the rocket for launch on the Artemis 1 mission, the first full-up test flight of the giant new rocket and the Orion crew capsule, designed to carry astronauts to the moon on future Artemis flights.